Coolant Loss


Asked by Jul 12, 2009 at 01:34 PM about the 2002 Honda Accord LX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2002 Accord LX 2.3 VETEC with 86K. I am losing coolant, but don't see any leaks. I have replaced the radiator, which was starting to seep at the upper tank. I also replaced the upper and lower hoses and two of the small water hoses that carry coolant to and from the throttle body. I also replaced the rad. cap, the thermostat and gasket. I don't see any white smoke from the exhaust, the car runs fine. The coolant reservoir does not leak, yet every time I fill up with gas I check the coolant reservoir and it is empty, which works out to be about every 350 miles. Has anyone else had this problem? Any ideas?

9 Answers

Stewart Carter

Check the transmission fluid for coolant contanination. The radiator might be leaking coolant into the transmission fluid.


Thanks, I had checked that before I changed the radiator and again afterward. The radiator had been seeping a bit from where the crimps secure the upper plastic tank, but there is no indication of coolant seepage into the trans fluid or the engine oil.

Stewart Carter

remove the spark plugs and check to see if they're wet with coolant.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks! I'll give it a try. At this point I'm open to all suggestions!

A Facebook user

fluids don't disappear. it could either be leaking from your head gasket into your combustion chamber where it is burning. or it could be leaking into the oil. so when you are at wide open throttle there is no smoke coming out? have you had someone look behind you while you try it? does under your hood smell? kinda a sweet smell? what i would do is i would pressurized your cooling system see if its holding pressure.

Steve Hayes

I own the same car as you wit bout 10,000 miles less. I would check the oil and see if its a milky color. But i really cant see the head gasket goin bad at 85k miles. Otherwise go 2 a trusted mechanic of yours and have them pressure test it. Or if ur mechnically inclined buy yourself a pressure test kit and look for leaks.

A Facebook user

if you are mechanically inclined you could do a compression test. then a cylinder leak down test.


I have a 96 accord 4dr and im also losing radiator coolant without any obvious leaks. I do detect a burning/sweet smell from my under the hood every so often. what coukd this possibly mean??? please help

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
Manny Carvajal

I have a 1996 Honda Accord LX 2.2L doing the same thing. I have to refill the reservoir with new coolant, I have no leaks at all, I just recently changed the lower radiator hose, the upper radiator hose, the heater hoses and my heater valve is not leaking and is working just fine. I do not have any white smoke coming out of my exhaust, I have pulled out all four of my NGK cables to see if they are wet with coolant and they are bone dry all four cylinder cables are bone dry, I have checked my oil and it is clean not milky at all, I also changed the thermostat and thermostat gasket with all Honda OEM parts. I am dumb founded please help, my car has only 134K miles on her and the engines responds with power every time I hit the gas. She drives smooth and handles amazing, the engine is strong and I am going nuts trying to find were the coolant is going. I really don't think my head gasket is warped or messed up, but that's all it could be, is it really my head gasket? My mechanic said he would change it with a new one for $300 because he knows me and I always go to him, I just recently did my timing belt and water pump with him for $200 all OEM Honda parts from Japan. Please anyone help.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

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