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If you are worried that the cavity behind the tube is full of carbon, you can probably
unscrew the flowing air bleader and look through it.
If you can't unclog the tube, maybe you could try to fill by the air bleader hole after removing it .
After all the two orifice seems to go to the same place
 

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You are making an assumption that the purge tube can't be cleared. I think this is wrong. Scott has already said he has cleared them with MIG wire. It is unlikely the the large areas of the head are also carbon blocked. Give the wire a try. Nothing is lost by trying. Get your mechanic to give you a couple of feet of the wire so you have multiple "tools." You won't lose coolant since the tube is the high point in the system. Do it while the coolant is cold.

I also have years with car mechanics, having built and maintained race winning sports cars. Most/all of the time when a head gasket is blown to the water jacket, all/most of the coolant is blown out very quickly. No one would have driven the car very far with a gasket blown to the water jacket.

It is possible that the water pump isn't functioning properly, but I don't know how to check that without outright replacement. You might be able feel the flow in the hoses, particularly if there are bubbles??

Get the van working so you don't kill your engine;)
 

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The Weldon wire I use is TIG welding rod. It’s very straight to start with. I use about 6-8 inches and work at it. I may not get it cleared in the first few minutes, some times I might work at it for half an hour. The welding rod is roughly 1/16 or 3/32, I have multiple sizes with TIG welder.
I would also after trying to clean the passage with wire, used some compressed air and try to blast some air down the tube to dislodge any blockage. If you have access to air you might try this.
I the shop where I work we also have the vacuum and fill coolant device. I never use it on the Insight.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Unscrewing the bleeder valve to visually check the cavity is a simple but great idea. I'll try it. I will pick up multiple sizes of TIG welder rod to see which size works best. I have a battery operated drill gun that needs to be charged up - haven't used it in years. Don't have an air compressor - wish I did - so will have to make do.

Thanks for all the feedback!

Tom
 

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I don't think you want to unscrew the bleeder valve. You will probably lose coolant and CREATE an air bubble, making the situation worse. Re the wire, I think you want MIG welding wire which is smaller and more flexible. TIG uses rods which won't be as flexible. (Maybe Scott will comment.)
 

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I live near Prater Wy and El Rancho so the short jaunt from there to the Vista offramp and back home via 80 Fwy is enough to hit 231F in 5th gear when it is 100+F out. Today was a bit cooler out so it hovered around 224F mostly but still climbed to 231 a few times. I find it strange that the dash temp gauge considers 231F as "normal" - still 6 to 7 bars like there is no problem at all. A/C needs topping off but other than that everything else works fine with over 220K miles on car.
6 bars exactly is the normal temperature reading, if it ever goes above that then you're overheating. I agree the temperature gauge is useless, it's an annoying problem on modern cars.
The gauge actually never shows an odd number of bars - only 2, 4, 6 ... 12, 14.
 

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So I went to Harbor Freight and bought an IR thermometer to record head and radiator hose temps, and wouldn't you know it - its only 93 out today and ECT is reading 213F or less with the temp LED mostly staying off. It occasionally would hit 217F but would come right down once the car was at idle. This was all on surface streets so I will the freeway later to see if it will climb higher.
Works but be careful what you're reading with those. They work on the principle of emissivity: hot item emits IR proportional to it's heat. Unfortunately different materials and surface finishes emit different amounts of IR for the same heat. Case and point, with a previous vehicle, I had a shiny aftermarket aluminum radiator with a polished top tank. IR thermometer on the black rubber top radiator hose read 205f at operating temp. move it 1/2" over to the radiator and it read 95f. Dark color, matte finish, non-metals emit the most IR per degree. smooth (polished) metals the least. Professional IR thermometers that cost a LOT more have adjustable emissivity for materials. cheap ones do not.
 

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Reading this thread has been informative, now I have to hook up the OBD2C&C and see what my "normal" temp readings are since the factory guage is no more than an idiot light!
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Post your results if you would and the ambient outside air temp. It has been suggested on this thread that coolant temps should not reach much over 200F and mine will reach 231F on a 100F day. Thankfully, the temps here in Reno have dropped a little to low to mid 90's and my coolant temps have not been quite so high. I hope it stays that way.
 

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Mine tend to go to around 204 on flat ground when it's about 100 out. I'll hit like 217 on overpasses when it's 110 out. I don't hit 231 unless I'm climbing a mountain in 2nd gear or out in utah going 88 in 3rd uphill.
 

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To answer Jim, I wasn't assuming anything, all I wanted to say is that sometimes when you are knocked out after hitting your nose on a blocked door, remember that there is another door that s opening with a key 12 can be useful.
Of course unclog the purge tube is the best thing to do !

I would like to ask a question. Does anyone know why sometimes the tube stays clean like new and sometimes it rusts from the inside?
When I changed my coolant in the spring, I took the time to make sure there were no bubbles left, today I checked and the coolant was still reaching the cap. Could that be the cause of the rust?
If there was just enough air to empty the tube (remember that the tube is the highest part), could that keep from rusting from the inside?
Rémy
 

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Are you sure you have enough coolant flow? How old is your water pump, it is easy to replace, if the temperature is going up try turning the temperature to the maximum as see how quick the temperature goes down, if you get little heat inside the car it may be not enough coolant flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
New water pump, thermostat, radiator, hoses - all replaced last summer when I had head gasket replaced. The only way I could see that flow would be a problem is if the chamber below the purge tube/bleeder valve is clogged with carbon and restricting flow. That could very well be the case but I need to clean out the purge tube first which is clogged with carbon, then see if the clogging continues below the purge tube. Heater worked fine during last winter. Been busy with other projects recently and getting ready for Hot August Nights here in Reno which begins a week from today.
 

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New water pump, thermostat, radiator, hoses - all replaced last summer when I had head gasket replaced. The only way I could see that flow would be a problem is if the chamber below the purge tube/bleeder valve is clogged with carbon and restricting flow. That could very well be the case but I need to clean out the purge tube first which is clogged with carbon, then see if the clogging continues below the purge tube. Heater worked fine during last winter. Been busy with other projects recently and getting ready for Hot August Nights here in Reno which begins a week from today.
You say that the cooling system parts are new, but unfortunately new does not equate with a good, or correct part. I know that you have great faith in the mechanic that did the head gasket job and installed the new parts, but your symptom brings to mind three causes, one of which is a wrong temperature rated thermostat being installed. This usually happens on cars that have the thermostat on the suction side of the water pump, which necessitates a thermostat rated in the 170-190 Deg F range, instead of the normal 195 Deg F that you see on cars with the thermostat mounted on the cylinder head coolant outlet. I've made this mistake myself on a 1998 Honda Accord, and it was frustrating to say the least. It always wanted to run at 230 Deg F once under load; meanwhile it would idle all day at 195-200 Deg F. Put the right temperature rated thermostat in it and and it was fine, maxing out at 210 Deg F under load.

If you doubt what I am telling you, take a look on RockAuto's site and you will see that for some inexplicable reason, they have 195 Deg F thermostats listed for the Insight, in addition to 170 and 180 Deg F ones; for reference, the OEM thermostat is rated at 88 Deg Celsius, which works out to 190 Deg F. If you have the receipts for the parts still, it would be a good idea to check that part number for the thermostat and make sure that it has the right temperature rating. Better yet, buy an OEM thermostat and replace what is in there now, if it isn't OEM.

The second cause is trapped air, which has been discussed here at length. However, you say that the heater is working fine and in my experience on Hondas, when they have air trapped in them the heater gets wonky, alternately blowing cold and then hot air. Definitely clear the stand pipe of rust; you can use a piece of 10 or 12 gauge copper electrical wire chucked up in a drill to work your way through the rust. Then pop on a hose and a funnel filled with coolant and bleed any trapped air per the factory service manual.

The third cause is a blown head gasket, which nominally, was fixed. However, at this point I would be purchasing a radiator pressure test kit and checking for sure. You could also just pull the spark plugs and inspect them; if one of the cylinders is getting coolant in it, its spark plug will appear a lot cleaner than the other two, since it is effectively being steam cleaned as you drive down the road.

One last thing, you haven't mentioned anywhere whether or not that you have removed the radiator cap and verified the coolant level in the radiator; if you haven't, do so and let us know what you find.
 

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Interesting. The thermostat was replaced last year when the head gasket was replaced so that is not the problem here. I talked to the mechanic who did the work on my car and he said they use a special coolant tool to draw 25 inches of vacuum to check for leaks and then draw in the coolant to prevent any air in the system. Using a tool like this would make my clogged purge tube a moot point - if they really work. Has anyone had any experience with one of these tools? I would gladly invest in one if they were effective at getting all the air out.

Tom
That would be one of these:


I have one, and yes, they work quite well - Insights included. They run off of compressed air though, so you would need an air compressor to use it. And ear plugs, since they are quite loud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Somewhere in this thread I mentioned that I removed the radiator cap and mentioned it was a little low. I topped it off and it has not been low since. When I had the blown head gasket it was low ALL the time. Think the head gasket is fine. My shop is sticklers for putting the right part in so don't believe wrong thermostat is the problem. Pulling it to check would just introduce more air in the system until I clean the purge tube and can bleed it properly. I noticed you used the term "rust" also in the purge tube. I must mention that the material I was able to remove before I had the head gasket replaced was coal jet black - not rust colored. I firmly believe that carbon is in the chamber below the purge tube but I will have to prove it by having to drill below the purge tube into the cavity. Probably some time after Hot August Nights.
 

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You'll only find one of two things blocking the stand pipe - rust or the radiator stop leak that you were using to seal your head gasket leak. Carbon on that scale, in the cooling system, even with a blown head gasket is simply not possible. The engine would not have run if it could blow that much combustion byproduct into the cooling passages.

As far as believing your shop put the right part in, believing and knowing are two different matters. You need to know that they put the right thermostat in. Otherwise, you could very well end up chasing ghosts, thinking that something simply isn't possible, when it could very well be the cause of your problem.

By all means, get the stand pipe cleared and bleed the cooling system. However, if your problem continues with an air free cooling system, and I suspect that it will (hopefully I am wrong), then definitely pull that thermostat and check its temperature rating.
 

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I agree with HW. The sealer you used got to the stand pipe and that was where a little air was so "boom" black crusty stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Seems if the sealer did that good of a job clogging my purge tube (roughly 3/8" in diamater) then it certainly would have clogged the radiator too. (?) The liquid sealer was brown with sparkly stuff in it so it turns coal black when it gets hot? Too much not making sense here but then I am not a Mechanical Engineer either so I will keep quiet until I can clean the tube out and let the chips fall where they may. At least temps here have dropped into high 80's to low 90's so overtemp LED is not coming on hardly at all any more. Still climbs to 213 frequently though.
 

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Just over 200f ECT in swampy midwest 90f yesterday for my newly acquired 06 with 200k mi.

Seems if the sealer did that good of a job clogging my purge tube (roughly 3/8" in diamater) then it certainly would have clogged the radiator too. (?) The liquid sealer was brown with sparkly stuff in it so it turns coal black when it gets hot? Too much not making sense here but then I am not a Mechanical Engineer either so I will keep quiet until I can clean the tube out and let the chips fall where they may. At least temps here have dropped into high 80's to low 90's so overtemp LED is not coming on hardly at all any more. Still climbs to 213 frequently though.
I wouldn't rule it out. That stuff reacts to temperature changes and lack of flow... maybe. Depends on the brand and chemistry. Maybe a bit of the particulates caught on a rough surface there (rust, scale?) until more and more caught. stop-leak's well known across the spectrum to cause more problems than it fixes in the majority of cases.
 
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