By December 16, 20106 Comments Read More →

My Honda Overheated Now I Need a New Engine?

Reader Question

First, thanks for your time. Now onto business because I know your time is important.
99 Honda Accord LX 4 Dr, 4 Cyl Vtech Engine

Over a year ago I was on the highway and the car made a spewing, hissing sound. The car began to “stall in motion”. Then the speed went from 75 to 5 in a couple of miles. As I pressed the pedal, there was no increase in speed. I pulled over and the car stopped. I put it in park and tried to start it. It clicked & hummed but the engine didn’t turn over. Then nothing.
Diagnosis was possibly engine or engine and timing belt. Not really sure. Mechanic wants to put in new engine and timing belt. Cost between $1000-1500 depending on finding an engine and all the other parts and labor.

My question is simple – Keep and fix or just get a new car. Don’t really have the $ right now for a new car but with the car industry still in a “tizzy” I’m thinking they will negotiate to sell a car.

You tell me what you think is best. I’m listening. Thanks again for your time.


Hi there Bracey

Does not sound good!! Sounds like the engine overheated???

If so you will need a new motor most likely. A used motor and timing belt might cost $1500 Minimum!! Probably more like $2500 for a used motor. It would be a good idea to install a new timing belt on a used engine.

Problem with replacing the motor is there are so many other parts that probably will need replacing as well. A radiator is probably likely as well so costs can easily escalate. Get a firmer price before you do anything.

Austin Davis

Reader Follow up

Thanks, Austin, for the quick response. We did discuss a new timing belt, tune up parts – Spark plugs, wires, air filter, and of course oil filter and oil.

How would one determine if a new radiator is needed? Is this something one could see needs replacing?

Is this a fixer upper or just buy something new?

Thank you.


Hello Again Bracey

The mechanic should be able to look inside the radiator to see if there is rust build up or not. I would also do a cooling system pressure test before removing the engine that will tell you if there is a coolant leak somewhere, like the radiator.

This is/was a dependable car, and if the rest of the vehicle is in good shape I would not have a problem putting $2000-2500 into it BUT, if you are installing a used motor…..I would want to make darn sure I bought a good one…..but that is hard to tell unless you go to the junk yard and look at the vehicle it came from for yourself. Even then, its a total gamble.

I don’t see how you are going to get by with spending less than $2K once its all said and done.

Could be a nice down payment on a new Kia Rio, love that car! but you will get nothing for yours.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Over Heating

6 Comments on "My Honda Overheated Now I Need a New Engine?"

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  1. Miguel Orona says:

    My name is miguel and my 1996 jeep cherokee is losing power when it warms up but does not over heat . Ive already replaced the coil ,cap,rotor,wires,plugs and the In line fuel filter . I also changed out thermostat and still the same shit. If any one can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Austin says:

      I would first start with checking the fuel pump pressure using a fuel pressure gauge under the hood at the fuel rail/injectors. You could have a weak fuel pump that is not pumping hard enough when it gets hot….which is pretty common.

      I would also check the exhaust, to make sure you do not have a restriction in the muffler or converter that is not allowing the engine to breath.

      You did not mention anything about the check engine light coming on, but would read your onboard computer codes to see what codes are stored and to see if there is an oxygen sensor failure or some other sensor failure.

      Another thing, if the engine looses oil pressure like from a stopped up oil pump screen the engine will loose power and start to over heat and make a clattering noise when it gets hot. If you have a manual oil pressure gauge, or can rent one at the local auto parts store, I would also check the oil pump pressure. The manual gauge should screw into the oil sending unit hole in the engine.

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