91 Accord LX overheating

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I have a 1991 Honda Accord LX 2.2L, 4 door sedan. I bought it three years ago and I haven't had to repair anything, but now it's having multiple problems at once--hole in the exhaust system, window not working, etc. My most immediate concern is that it started overheating recently. I checked the coolant levels and they were fine, then I took it into a repair shop in South Philly. They told me the radiator was cracked and so I ordered a new radiator and they installed it. When I was almost home after picking up the car, the needle climbed toward the "hot" mark again. I did a little reading online to try to figure out the problem, then I checked to see if the fans came on when the engine was on. They didn't, but as soon as I turned the car off, the fan on the left (left meaning looking down at the engine from the front of the car) came on and stayed on for about five minutes. I turned the car back on and turned the AC on. The fans still didn't come on--until I turned the car off, then the left one came on again and stayed on. From what I can gather, this means I have a problem with either the cooling fan fuse, the relay, or the wiring. I have no experience with cars but am very tired of being taken advantage of as a young-ish female car owner. I feel like I need to be better informed before I go into a car repair shop--and I'd be happy to do repairs myself if I can. (Although it's very annoying the way men find this "cute.") So I have three questions: 1) Is it possible my radiator was cracked AND I had a fan problem--and that the radiator cracked because of the fan not working? Or should they have figured this problem out at the car repair place? 2) What car repair manual do you suggest for the Honda Accord (Chilton, Hayes, or just get an official Honda manual)? and 3) Is there anything else I can check on my own before I take the car in again to narrow down the possibilities so they don't put in another part I may not need? Oh, and one last question: does anyone know of a competent, reasonably priced, and honest mechanic in Philadelphia--or is that an oxymoron?

posted by  pepchick

Cooling systems has an air bleed valve to remove air from system. Air in system can cause probems you describe. So can a cracked head, alas. If you suspect crack, mechanic can easily test for combustion products in coolant.

Best manual is from Honda, but mine cost me $85 whe I bought car new in 1990. Has paid for itself several times since then.

Good luck.

posted by  gravistar

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