You can't fault the OP. These 3.2 V6 engines are faulty regardless of how they are maintained. The C32A has "hotspots" on the number 3 and 6 cylinders. These cars will at least blow a head gasket once in their lifetime. Honda also has another motor with a "hotspot" defect on a Civic. Too bad because I was in the market for a Acura Legend coupe, but I decided on a Honda Accord coupe, which is the closest thing. But instead I now have a reliable motor but a suspect transmission... LOL.
I recently bought a Legend with 180,000k on it, and I say it's one of the most solid cars ever built. I had no problems until 200,000k miles when it overheated and I needed to change the thermostat.. The car didn't over heat to the red, I put in water and changed the broken part. After that I noticed that I kept losing water and that I blew a head gasket. Are these engines really that sensitive??
I'm selling it right now because it's too expensive to fix, but I'm really considering buying another one, but I don't want to have the same problem?? I guess if I do; I just change everything if I buy one...
To comment 2:19.
It's not that the Legend is sensitive, it's that any car with an aluminum cylinder head is prone to head gasket failure if it overheats. Overheating causes the aluminum cylinder head to warp and the head gasket to blow. This is why it is so important to regularly check the coolant level on cars with aluminum cylinder heads.
As I stated.. these motors are prone to BHG, regardless of how it is maintained. Even if the needle doesn't touch the red area, a blown gasket can occur. These 3.2 C-series engines are tricky to diagnose. Don't let anyone tell you these motors are bulletproof. I can walk to the store and just look at the cars passing by to see a Legend smoking out the tailpipe. It's sad because these cars are great and reliable.
Basic maintenance doesn't seem to count with the 92 Legend. I have one and have had the same issues with the cooling system.
My temp gauge was spiking. Thermostat, hoses, cap, water pump, everything fine.
Had a head gasket job done, heads resurfaced, new water pump, new thermostat, new cap. Ran well for about 4000 miles, then compression started getting back into the system again. Blew a hose, then blew off part of the inside of the cap. Eventually blew radiator, and then blew the head gasket for real. All this with close and very careful monitoring.
It's too bad a car this nice is prone to this kind of thing. I will not rebuilding the engine or doing another head gasket job. This car is done.
I have a 94 GS Type 2. The reason these engines develop BHG's is the EGR port (exhaust gas recirculation) port in the intake manifold clogs up with oil and carbon, and this causes excessive heat and pressure on parts of the head gasket, so it starts to seep and eventually fail. A lot of people change the head gaskets, but don't clean out the EGR, so the BHG happens again.
The other problem is the heads have very close tolerances, so if they are warped you have very little to work with to get the mating surface flat. If you mill them too much, the cam shaft will bind, and you are looking at buying new heads.
I have kept mine running by removing the thermostat, which prevents air pockets in the cooling system. The car uses about a quart of coolant / day, but it gets me around.. It's a hassle, but I love my Legend, and I'm afraid if I pull the heads, I will end up with a 2 ton paper weight.
I had the same problem; same year and type of car. Did the same thing, and the leaking made my timing belt fragile and it snapped, so I would replace the gasket before you have to replace the heads like I do.
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