How To Test A Blown Head Gasket (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 2.2L Honda Accord, Odyssey, Prelude)

Testing the head gasket on the 2.2L Honda Accord, Odyssey, or Prelude is not hard.

In this tutorial I'll explain the 4 test you can do to find out if the head gasket is blown on your 2.2L 4 cylinder equipped Honda vehicle.

En Español You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar El Empaque De Cabeza (1992-1997 2.2L Accord, Odyssey) (at: autotecnico-online.com).

This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:

  1. 2.2L Honda Accord: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997.
  2. 2.2L Honda Odyssey: 1995, 1996, 1997.
  3. 2.2L Honda Prelude: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997.

Symptoms Of A Blown Head Gasket

A head gasket problem usually causes one of two types of problems. Either the head gasket problem causes the engine to not start (crank but not start).

Or the head gasket problem causes the engine to overheat (after it starts).

Here's a list of the basic symptoms you're going to see when the head gasket fails in your 2.2L Honda Accord (Odyssey or Prelude).

  1. Your Honda vehicle is overheating for no apparent reason. All engine cooling system components (like fan motor, water pump, etc.) are working fine.
  2. White smoke is coming out of the tail-pipe and it smells like anti-freeze being cooked.
  3. Your Honda vehicle's engine won't start.
  4. The engine oil is thick and a tan to an off-white color.

TEST 1: Engine Oil The Color Of ‘Coffee With Too Much Creamer'

Engine Oil The Color Of Coffee With Too Much Creamer. How To Test A Blown Head Gasket (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 2.2L Honda Accord, Odyssey, Prelude)

The first test that we're gonna' do is to see if the engine oil is mixed with coolant.

If the engine oil is mixed with coolant, it's gonna' look like 'coffee with too much creamer'.

If it isn't, then it's gonna' be its normal color and viscosity and we're off to the next test.

Let's get started:

  1. 1

    Open the hood.

  2. 2

    Pull out the engine oil dipstick.

  3. 3

    Check the color of the oil sticking to the engine oil dipstick.

    You'll see one of two results:

    1.) The engine oil looks like coffee with too much creamer.

    2.) The engine oil is its usual normal color.

Alright, let's analyze your test result:

CASE 1: The engine oil has the color of coffee with too much creamer. This test result confirms that the head gasket is blown on your 2.2L Honda Accord (Odyssey or Prelude).

CASE 2: The color of the engine oil is normal. This is the correct and expected test result.

The next test is to see if the engine's compression pressures are escaping into the engine's cooling system (radiator). For this test go to: TEST 2: Coolant Shooting Out From Open Radiator.

Honda Vehicles:

  • Accord 2.2L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
  • Odyssey 2.2L
    • 1995, 1996, 1997
  • Prelude 2.2L
    • 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997