Bought a 2006 Honda Civic EX (not hybrid) from a mechanic last January. I drove it home for about 20 minutes at about 75 mph. I think he masked that it had a blown head gasket. I have brain damage and missed the red flags. I haven't had or done any work on it.
Heater only works on the left side vents, semi-warm air on the middle vents, and cold air on the right. Local Honda dealership said it was a clogged heater core and recommended replacement. I know you try flushing first so I took it home. Unfortunately, it was January in Idaho so everything is frozen, no water hose to use. I figured I'd put up with it until spring to flush it.
Within a couple weeks, I noticed the coolant was disappearing, but no leaks underneath (parked on dry pavement). I checked the radiator, the overflow tank was nearly empty, there were a lot of particles in it, and it was a murky gray. Under the radiator cap coolant was a couple inches low. I removed and cleaned out the overflow tank, and topped off the radiator and the tank to max line with the Honda-specific coolant.
I checked the oil cap and had to use a wrench to twist it open. The cap underside was light brown/milky. I wiped it off to rule out condensation, but it always quickly turned light brown after driving a bit and wiping again after every drive. I did the funnel above the engine spout in the radiator test and got a bubble about every minute. So combustion gases are in the cooling system, which may also have caused the heater core clog.
It's sat in my driveway for the past four months because I'm frozen on what to do and diagnosing the actual problem. Head gasket repair is more than the car's value (which I also paid almost double it's book value already - remember, brain damage). I don't want to sink another $4k+ to repair the gasket and possibly the other parts.
The Civic has these symptoms:
- Coolant levels drop very quickly
- Constantly needing to top up the radiator with coolant
- Bubbles in the radiator and reservoir overflow
- Milky discoloration of the oil
However, it does not have these symptoms:
- Increased engine running temperature
- Cloud of exhaust fumes when idling, or white smoke coming from exhaust pipe
- Coolant clearly leaking onto the ground beneath the head gasket
- There is no loss of oil.
- Radiator cap seems to fit tight.
I looked into bad intake manifold gasket symptoms, but it does not have:
- Green, red, or yellow leaks under the car
- Overheating engine
- Engine running rough
- Decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel economy
However, the check engine light came on about a month ago:
- Code P2646 Rocker Arm Oil Control Valve (A) Stuck On/Off.
- I cleared the code and was about to buy the part but the code never popped up again.
- I'm not sure if it's related to a blown head gasket.
Given the symptoms, is it a bad head gasket or what else could it be?
Is the Rocker Arm Oil Control Valve a related problem or something different?
Should I not use a coolant system sealer product, because the coolant and oil seem to be mixing?
Are there any other problems I'm missing?
- Milky oil on underside of oil cap.
- Dipstick oil check are clean oil.
- 2006 Civic with only 84k miles! I verified with a CarFax report.