1997 Acura 1.6EL – Engine Over Heating Problems

Reader Question: I have a 1997 Acura 1.6EL with 241,000 km on it. The thermostat that tells me if engine is too hot or cold started acting up. I changed the thermostat. Still same problem though.

When I idle (like in a fast-food drive thru) or when I go up a steep hill (like at an apartment walk up); my thermostat meter goes up to just below the ‘H’. As soon as I drive, again the meter goes back to the middle where it should be.

In the summer, I drove for 2 hours and my meter was fine until I got stuck in traffic and had to stop and the meter rose to just below the ‘H’ again, when I drove it went back down. There is no smoke coming from engine at all.

Does anyone know what the problem could be? Some people said possibly an oil leak or that I need a new Head gasket. I already had the water pump and timing belt changed at 200,000 km, and I already had the radiator pressure tested and it was fine. I even changed the small radiator metal cover but I still have same problem.

Please help, no one seems to know what is wrong with my car.


Hi Stacey,

It sounds like you have an electric cooling fan problem. Either the fan motor is bad or the motor is not getting the signal to come on. The electric fans are up near the radiator and should cycle on and off as the engine warms up.

These fans MUST work while the vehicle is at idle or low speeds since there is very little airflow across the hot radiator. Once the vehicle is up and under way air can circulate across the radiator and cool the engine down again.

The electric fans should be on all the time when you have AC set to high and the vehicle is at idle.

Did you read my article on overheating? Here it is again:

Engine Over Heating Problems

Austin Davis

Posted in: Over Heating

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