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Old 05-16-2018, 11:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Spark plug boogers, a cracked radiator, and possibly a blown head gasket.

It seemed like a lovely day, 70, as I drove my Civic, but my engine temperature was too high, and I had only driven five miles!

In 70 weather!

I started having problems with her overheating a year ago, but that was Phoenix, where it hit 117 last year. I do not remember the drama, although I probably posted about it. The radiator fan only worked when I pulled on the cable and when I put a paper clip in the connector. I also bypassed the heater core. I was still working on it when I moved north, to a higher elevation. The hottest day there was 92 back in May.

My Civic drove fine for nine months.

I stopped at the first place that sold distilled water and popped my hood. Nothing looked too bad. The radiator was cool to the touch.

What?!

I popped the cap and it was low, so I added water, but it gushed out the top.

I was about two miles from an appointment and that was one of the last steps before I can start my new job.

I drove carefully, popped the hood, and my engine was smoking. I left the hood open and spent a couple of hours inside.

I should have asked for a paperclip!

I stopped every couple of miles, purchasing paperclips and jumping the cable as soon as I could, and then stopping and letting the engine cool before continuing.

The temperature shot up when I entered the neighborhood and was at High when I reached our street. I stopped, turned off the engine, and pushed the car the rest of the way.

Slightly uphill.

A new radiator is $70, but that is a waste of time and money if the engine is damaged. I started a compression test, but the first cylinder was only 0 PSI. I checked it a couple of times, reconnected the hose, tried again, and when I added oil it quickly dropped to zero, but was still moving when I moved back to the hood. I popped up the gauge with a wooden clamp and watched it hit 70 PSI.

That is not useful.
This was the spark plug:


That is just weird.

I twisted the next spark plug boot, but when I pulled on it, the wire came out, and the boot came apart. I soaked it in silicone lubricant, twisted a screw into the clip, and extracted the metal part, while the plastic tube is still stuck in there.

It looks like I will need to haul the car to a junkyard.

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Old 05-16-2018, 11:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Gaaa! That is awful. Sorry for the loss of the vehicle. Part it out yourself?

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Old 05-17-2018, 05:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am already renting a storage room because there is not enough space in Mom's house for all of my stuff. I am not sure what to do with car parts while I wait to sell them, spray paint "Nothing to see here, move along!" on a tarp, and cover the components?

There is a weird option...

After eight weeks of waiting for my new job to start, in theory I could start seeing before the week is over. So far, I have clients up to sixty miles away, but I do not believe I will be able to deduct much of my driving. If I see four or five clients an hour away, I can only deduct the miles between clients, which may be negligible compared to the 120-mile commute round-trip.

The weird part is that if I rent an office space I can deduct all of the miles, presuming I always stop by my office before and after. I found a space for $360 a month, although I do not have any idea what additional charges there might be. If I can deduct rent it is technically $306 a month. I think that if I drive 3,700 miles a month I would about break even. I plan on working Saturdays if necessary. If I work 26 days a month and average 142 miles daily I might break even, but...

If I move my stuff from my storage room into my office and deduct $49 it would be easier to break even, but I am not redoing the math.

The other thing is that my brother with autism is in a day program that we do not like. Mom calls it glorified daycare. His support coordinator is supposed to send me the information to provide what they call habilitation. I could work with him four days a week, he would progress, and I should be able to pay bills without driving all over.

Taking him to the office would seem ideal to me, but Mom does not seem to like the idea very much.

I was going to CPR training when my car started overheating. I did it last time on-line, but I wanted to do it in-person. I might have even made a friend or something! $25 in the next town did not sound bad. Curiously, they held two classes a week, last week, and today, so that seemed to work out, except for my car overheating, when I could have taken the training on-line through the American Heart Association for $15.

Oh goodie.

I re-read an article on Popular Mechanics (and rehosted elsewhere) about two guys that bought a junked 1992 Lexus for the suspension, kept some other parts, sold off 1,724 pounds of components, and netted $1,400 for a car that cost them $1,000. They calculated it took at least 110 hours to research, purchase, dismantle, research, and sell, which works out to less than $4 an hour, but the suspension and other parts would have been expensive.

So they made $10 an hour?

In some forum posts the general consensus is that it is difficult to make money parting out cars because of how much time it takes to dismantle and sell. Many indicated that it made the most sense if you wanted something off of a car. If I found a worn-out Civic HX with good parts that mine lacks for $500 then I could Voltron them (Frankenstein's Monster?) into something worthwhile.

I only found eight HXes in the entire country, but what is curious is that I found more simply searching among the ten largest cities in the U.S. Then I tried Google's utility and found additional cars, but not as many.

There is one okay HX with 165,000 miles somewhere in Oregon for $750. That would be very complicated, but I have not seen my family in Oregon in months.

My last trip there cost me more without the souvenir HX.

To the best of my knowledge, this message makes sense. Goodnight!
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Bummer.

The only car I ever owned that blew a head gasket was a Civic. A $265 Civic. (The 80's mini bread van style... wish I still had it!)

I cracked the head because it blew on the freeway and I kept driving to the next exit for safety -- concern for not stopping on the shoulder. It was only a couple of minutes more, but the temp needle was pegged by the time I killed the engine (pun intended) and coasted to a stop.

Hope you get this sorted out in a good way.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bummer.

Quote:
There is one okay HX with 165,000 miles somewhere in Oregon for $750. That would be very complicated, but I have not seen my family in Oregon in months.
I saw that in the other thread and wondered where I could come up with $750 stat. But then I read the 2006 HX had a brain tumor.

Same thing has happened to me. I had been having fuel supply problems with the Dasher, so I hadn't driven more than a few miles at a time before I authorized them to R&R the diesel pump.

The mechanic delivered the car to my door (to get a ride back), but when he arrived there was steam coming out of the hood. We top it up and I drove it to the shop and back. Next time I tried to go somewhere, I started by checking the water. The expansion tank was coated with 1/8" of oil, and the crankcase was over-full.

He claims the fan wasn't working when he got it, but he left it idling in the parking lot for 20 minutes unattended (his admission) Twice!

We're currently negotiating who pays for what. It's too rare to not fix.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bummer

Are there other mechanics you can use from now on? It is experiences like this that convince me to work on my own car--that and mechanics require payment. How dare they?!

I found out to spray silicone into the hole from this video:



Then he said to use this machinist's pick to pull out the boot: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...d4606f7902f458

I did not want to wait for shipping, so I went to Harbor Freight, where I found a similar set of four picks for $4. None of them were the right size. I heated a straight one on the stove and bent it 90, but when it seemed like I had the pick all of the way in, I could not catch any edges to pry the boot loose. When I used needlenose priers it broke off a chunk. I ended up using a big screwdriver to break it into chunks and then removed that with a "combat" flashlight and a pick.

I finally removed all of the hard plastic, but could not seat the spark plug puller. There was a ring of charred rubber (silicone?), which took quite a while to extract, but I made sure to spray the hole with compressed air until nothing came out and dried out all of the lubricant that I could.

Zero PSI. In fact, I tested the remaining two cylinders and according to my compression tester all cylinders put out 0 PSI, but when I clamped the gauge and watched it from the driver's seat, each hit about 60 PSI.

I am going to rent one from Autozone and try to figure out which component is bad, but I doubt I will have any luck exchanging it.

Lifetime warranty...
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
It looks like I will need to haul the car to a junkyard.
Back-pedaling from there?
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Some junk yards will pick it up for free and still pay a small amount. I think my friend got a tow and, like, $250
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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DANG that sucks.

Will you be fixing up the Accord for keeps then?
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ugh, what a bummer. Similar problems gave me a pretext for ditching my Echo. Junkyard gave me $180 for it, towed on their dime. I coulda fixed it, probably, for about $100 and an afternoon,but I was done with a car which needed hours of prep to pass annual inspection, had perpetually moldy carpet, 273k on the clock, and an auto trans. Lots more story there, but I am happy with the Civic I got to replace it.

If you really like the car, engine replacement is a viable option, cheaper than another equivalent vehicle...

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