TEST 2: Coolant Shooting Out From Open Radiator
Okay, you've arrived at this test section because the engine oil passed TEST 1 in the previous page.
In this test section, we're now gonna' see if the coolant (inside the radiator) will get shot out while we crank the engine.
This test requires that you crank the engine with radiator cap removed from the radiator. Before you remove the radiator cap from the radiator, make sure that the engine is completely cooled down.
The idea behind this test, is to see if the head gasket has blown and is letting combustion/compression pressures (from inside the engine cylinders) escape into the engine's cooling system.
Let's get started.
Remove the radiator's cap. Check to see if there is coolant in the radiator. If the radiator is empty, add some water or coolant to bring it up to the radiator's neck level.
Crank the engine with the help of helper, while you stand at a safe distance from the open radiator.
You'll see one of two results:
1.) The water or coolant inside the radiator will shoot up and out of the now open radiator.
2.) The coolant will not be disturbed. In other words, cranking the engine will have no effect on the level of the Water or coolant in the radiator.
OK, now that the testing part is done, let's take a look at what your results mean:
CASE 1: The coolant bubbled out or shot out from the radiator. This test result let you know that you do have a bona fide blown head gasket on your 2.4L Honda CR-V. No further testing is required.
CASE 2: The coolant DID NOT bubble out NOR shoot out from the radiator. This is the correct and expected test result. To be a bit more specific: the engine coolant should not disturbed while the engine is being cranked.
So far so, good. But we now need to move on to the next test. If your Honda CR-V's engine DOES NOT start, go to: TEST 3: Engine Compression Test.
If your Honda CR-V's engine DOES start, go to: TEST 4: Using A Chemical Block Tester (Combustion Leak Tester).
TEST 3: Engine Compression Test
This test section only applies to your 2.4L Honda CR-V if its engine is NOT starting. So if the engine starts, in your Honda CR-V, skip this test and go to: TEST 4: Using A Chemical Block Tester (Combustion Leak Tester).
Okay, we're gonna' do a compression test. What we're looking for (with the compression test results) is if you have two side-by-side cylinders that have 0 PSI compression.
The reason why we're looking for two side by side cylinders with zero compression is that the head gasket can burn between two cylinders. This causes the compression from one cylinder to escape into the other and vice versa. The end result is two dead cylinders with 0 PSI compression. This condition will also cause your Honda CR-V engine to not start.
These are the test steps:
Remove all four COP ignition coils.
Remove all four spark plugs too.
Thread in the compression tester by hand, on the first spark plug hole you're gonna' start with.
Do not use any tools to tighten the compression tester. Hand tightening the compression tester is more than enough to get the proper results.
Have a helper crank the engine. Your job is to keep your eyeballs on the compression tester.
The needle will climb, as the engine cranks, till it reaches the maximum cylinder compression. At the point it stops climbing, have your helper stop cranking the engine.
Write down the reading and what cylinder it belongs to (you can use the image in the image viewer to help you identify the cylinder). Repeat the above steps in the remaining 3 cylinders.
Let's examine your test results:
CASE 1: All cylinders had compression. This is the correct and expected test result.
Now, if the compression of each cylinders varies too much between each other, then you might have a problem on your hands. To interpret your compression test results, look for the section: Interpreting The Compression Test Results found in this tutorial: How To Test Engine Compression (1997-2001 2.0L Honda).
CASE 2: Two side by side cylinders had 0 PSI compression. This confirms that the head gasket is burned thru' at the point between those two cylinders. You will need to replace the head gasket.