Reader Question 1991 Honda CRX overheating in cold weather. Brown stuff in overflow tank and the radiator sucks up anything I put in it what is wrong with it?
First things first…get a cooling system pressure test done at your local repair shop. Its easy to do and inexpensive and is the first thing we need to do in this situation…determine if there is a coolant leak, and if so is it external like a radiator hose or internal like a head gasket problem.
Brown stuff in the overflow could just be rust from lack of coolant changes, or it could be from engine oil mixing with the coolant….from a head gasket leak. Usually there is water in the engine oil as well which will look like a chocolate milkshake.
Other common signs of internal coolant leaks:
1. white smoke out the exhaust
2. engine misfire – running poorly
3. water in engine oil
4. oil in coolant
Get back to me with what you find out.