Honda Civic/Del Sol 1996-2000

Cooling System

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Fig. Never remove the radiator cap when it is hot


CAUTION
Never remove the radiator cap under any conditions while the engine is hot! Failure to follow these instructions could result in damage to the cooling system, engine and/or personal injury. To avoid having scalding hot coolant or steam blow out of the radiator, use extreme care whenever removing the radiator cap. Wait until the engine has cooled, then wrap a thick cloth around the radiator cap and turn it slowly to the first stop. Step back while the pressure is released from the cooling system. When the pressure has been released, press down on the radiator cap (with the cloth still in position), then turn and remove the cap.

FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



The first recommended cooling system fluid change is 45,000 miles (72,000 km) or 3 years whichever occurs first. Thereafter, the interval is every 30,000 miles (48,000 km) or 2 years, whichever occurs first. The cooling system should be inspected, flushed and refilled with fresh coolant during these maintenance intervals.

The manufacturer recommends using 50% Honda Antifreeze/Coolant mixed with 50% water. A high quality major-brand, non-silicate designed for use in aluminum engines can be substituted temporarily. Using distilled water instead of regular tap water to mix with the antifreeze will also help to keep the cooling system corrosion free, as some of the chemicals found in tap water may corrode aluminum. In addition, if the coolant is left in the system too long, it loses its ability to prevent rust and corrosion.

LEVEL CHECK



To check the coolant level, simply verify whether the coolant is up to the FULL line on the expansion tank. Add the proper mixture of coolant to the expansion tank if the level is low. Never add cold water or coolant to a hot engine as damage to both the cooling system and the engine could result.


CAUTION
Should it be necessary to remove the radiator cap, make sure the system has had time to cool, reducing the internal pressure.

The radiator cap should be removed only for cleaning or draining the system. The cooling system is under pressure when Hot. Removing the radiator cap when the engine is warm or overheated will cause coolant to spill or be forced out, possibly causing serious burns. The system should be allowed to cool before attempting removal of the radiator cap or other cooling system components.

If any coolant spills on painted portions of the body, rinse it off immediately.

DRAIN & REFILL





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Fig. Remove and drain the reservoir recovery tank



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Fig. Location of the radiator draincock



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Fig. Use your hand to unscrew the plastic draincock



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Fig. To refill the recovery tank, twist the cap . . .



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Fig. . . . then pull up to remove it from the tank



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Fig. Adding coolant to the reservoir bottle



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Fig. Always check the condition of the radiator cap gasket and seal. Place a light coating of coolant on the seal and gasket when installing


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that small animals and domestic pets are attracted by ethylene glycol antifreeze and may attempt to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or from puddles on the ground. This can be fatal if ingested in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused until it becomes contaminated or several years old. To avoid injuries from scalding fluid and steam, DO NOT remove the radiator cap while the engine is running or if the engine or radiator is still hot.

  1. Before draining the cooling system, place the heater's temperature selector to the full WARM position while the engine is running.
  2.  
  3. Turn the engine off before it gets hot and the system builds pressure.
  4.  
  5. Make sure the engine is still cool and the vehicle is parked on a level surface.
  6.  
  7. Remove and drain the reservoir recovery tank.
  8.  
  9. Place a fluid catch pan under the radiator. Turn the radiator draincock counterclockwise to open, then allow the coolant to drain.
  10.  
  11. Remove the radiator cap by performing the following:
    1. Slowly rotate the cap counterclockwise to the detent.
    2.  
    3. If any residual pressure is present, WAIT until the hissing stops.
    4.  
    5. After the hissing noise has ceased, press down on the cap and continue rotating it counterclockwise to remove it.