Honda Accord Leaking Coolant
While driving home from work one day I stopped to get some gas. While pumping the gas, I noticed a pool of what appeared to be Radiator fluid under my car. I wondered if my car was leaking coolant; I bent down to look and did not see any antifreeze leaking from my car. I determined the coolant must have come from some other car since I didn’t see any coolant leaks. After finishing filling up my tank I continued home. Eventually I noticed the temperature gauge behaving erratically so I pulled over and shut the car off. I got out to inspect the car. I found the mysterious pool of antifreeze, but again no obvious leak and the radiator and hoses seemed intact. I knew I had a problem with leaking coolant, I just wasn’t sure what or where it was.
Finding the Coolant Leak
I cranked the engine and got out to inspect the car while it was running. Looking under the car from behind the passenger front wheel I noticed water gushing out from behind the engine block spilling over the transmission. I didn’t have any antifreeze with me and only had a little water. A kind person stopped by to see if they could help, they were able to get some more water for me. After a brief cool down period and filling up the radiator, I slowly made my way home. I now knew the general area of the leak, but not exactly what was leaking. To find the leak I had to use a few tricks such as sliding some cardboard under the car to identify the general area and tracing the leak back towards the source. Eventually by finding wet spots and using a camera I identified a hose that had deteriorated in the back of the engine and was leaking from the bottom onto the transmission and then flowing out over the exhaust. The hose is called a bypass inlet hose, it is a U-shaped hose and because of the tight turn in it, regular straight heater hose would not work so well, since it would tend to kink. Luckily this hose was fairly inexpensive at the Honda dealership, they did not have it in stock, but were able to order it and I had it in a few days.
Replacing the Bypass Inlet Hose
This hose is kind of difficult to get to, first I removed the Air Intake system and decided I would need to remove the EGR valve as well and disconnect some additional hoses. The hose is connected to its two ports by spring clamps. I was eventually able to get it free using some small clamps and vise grips to work the clamps down the hose so they were no longer putting pressure hose at the ports. With lots of wiggling and pulling I was eventually able to get the hose free.
The new hose didn’t want to go on of course, I tried lubricating the interior of the hose somewhat and was able to get it a little more than half way with lots of struggling. It would have been easier if I had taken more of the car apart, such as the fuel rail or the intake manifold, but I didn’t want to do that. I decided to give up for a bit, the hose was mostly on and didn’t leak.
I eventually was able to get the new hose on another way, I started the car and let it run for a while, the heated antifreeze from the engine ran through the hose and warmed it. With the hose now heated, it was much easier to work with. Since the engine was pretty hot I had to be very cautious and avoid hot surfaces and coolant as much as I could. I removed the hose one bib at a time to let some hot antifreeze get in the tips of the hose to help lubricate it and then proceeded to put it back on, I spilled some antifreeze on my hands, but thankfully it wasn’t as hot as the rest of the engine block. I was able to get the hose ends completely onto the ports this way, it worked much more easily than my previous attempt with a cold hose. I did the other end the same way and put the spring clamps back in place.