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Hey everyone I hope you can help me out. I am a fellow car nut like you guys (had a SVT Contour, now have a Mazda6s). Anyhow, my fiancee's Civic is at the dealer right now because it is making some gurgling noises when she accelerates. Usually between 10 and 25mph or so. After that it stops until the next time you pull out from a standstill. Sounds as if it is coming from the passenger side of the engine compartment. The dealer says it is "normal", that the car is either low on coolant or has air in the system. They're suggesting either flushing the coolant or purging the air.

I don't buy their story though. I'm not familiar with Civics but I know cars in general and I know that air should NOT be in the cooling system, and that the level should NOT be low. If either are the case then it would seem that there is a greater problem (leaking head gasket? cracked head?). It kind of has me worried because the car is about 2k miles from being up on its warranty. Sorry to ask for a response on such short notice but she's gotta call the dealer tomorrow to tell them what to do...

Oh and the other thing...they're saying the coolant is part of the 30k mile tune-up? That can't be...or is it? Coolant shouldn't be until 100k (or 50k if you want to be nice).
 

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You should change the coolant every couple years. Is she having any overheating problems at all? White smoke in the exhaust? Do a compression test to help rule out the head gasket.
Civic radiators aren't the best check for leaks around the top, check the coolant hoses for leaks, and check the expansion tank for leaks. Drain and refill the coolant (plug on the bottom of the rad.) and see how it does.
 

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BTW I really wouldn't worry about a cracked head on a two year old Civic, the only time I blew a head gasket was with nitrous a long time ago and that was on a 10+ year old stock motor. (Yes I know n2o + stock motor = not a good idea)
 

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does it have an air intake? it might need a new filter or a thorough cleaning. after a while when you start up your car you can hear it. check that out and let me know.
 

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mm... is the problem around only when the heater is on? I had the same problem, and believe it or not, coolant was low. I made sure the radiator had enough coolant, and the reseviour was close to 'max' and I was good to go after that. Unfortunately, not everyone had this problem solved like that.... but I did what I did and it worked.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Her Civic is bone stock, no intake or anything like that. I'll have to check the coolant level and see how it is doing.

The thing that gets me is that the dealer said the problem is 'normal' for 2003, 2004, and some 2005 Civics. I don't see how losing coolant, or air getting into the cooling system is 'normal'....

As for the noise, to describe it better it almost even sounds like an engine ping, or valve noise. From what you guys are telling me it doesn't sound like it is a 'normal' problem... I guess I'll have the dealer purge the air from the system and top off the coolant and I'll take it from there.

CuRiOuSfIsH: it is quite possible that the problem is only when the heater is on...we've never noticed the noise before until now (winter). Is there any technical explanation for why that noise would occur with low coolant??

dashimono: definitely no white smoke in the exhaust so it is probably not burning it. And in all the oil changes I've done I've never noticed any leaks in the engine bay.

Have you guys heard of this problem before? Trying to decide whether or not to trust the dealer on this one since they are trying to make it out to be a common problem (that isn't really a problem)...
 

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SVTour98 said:
Her Civic is bone stock, no intake or anything like that. I'll have to check the coolant level and see how it is doing.

The thing that gets me is that the dealer said the problem is 'normal' for 2003, 2004, and some 2005 Civics. I don't see how losing coolant, or air getting into the cooling system is 'normal'....

As for the noise, to describe it better it almost even sounds like an engine ping, or valve noise. From what you guys are telling me it doesn't sound like it is a 'normal' problem... I guess I'll have the dealer purge the air from the system and top off the coolant and I'll take it from there.

CuRiOuSfIsH: it is quite possible that the problem is only when the heater is on...we've never noticed the noise before until now (winter). Is there any technical explanation for why that noise would occur with low coolant??
well, as for "normal"... it's a normal problem for the 01-05 CIvics.... but not normal for a car in general. My car came with coolant around the "low" mark when I 1st got it. My mom's Odyssey was the same way. I eventually filled up both cars. As for losing coolant, after about 1 year, I noticed a decrease of about 1/2 of the coolant in the reseviour but radiator remains full.
 

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SVTour98 said:
Hey everyone I hope you can help me out. I am a fellow car nut like you guys (had a SVT Contour, now have a Mazda6s). Anyhow, my fiancee's Civic is at the dealer right now because it is making some gurgling noises when she accelerates. Usually between 10 and 25mph or so. After that it stops until the next time you pull out from a standstill. Sounds as if it is coming from the passenger side of the engine compartment. The dealer says it is "normal", that the car is either low on coolant or has air in the system. They're suggesting either flushing the coolant or purging the air.

I don't buy their story though. I'm not familiar with Civics but I know cars in general and I know that air should NOT be in the cooling system, and that the level should NOT be low. If either are the case then it would seem that there is a greater problem (leaking head gasket? cracked head?). It kind of has me worried because the car is about 2k miles from being up on its warranty. Sorry to ask for a response on such short notice but she's gotta call the dealer tomorrow to tell them what to do...

Oh and the other thing...they're saying the coolant is part of the 30k mile tune-up? That can't be...or is it? Coolant shouldn't be until 100k (or 50k if you want to be nice).
i would love to help u out man but in a way...a gurgling sound is hard to pinpoint especially by descirbing. if u dont trust the dealer the best thing for u to do is take it to a good reliable shop and have them check it or do it urself.
 
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