What Are the Causes of Overheating in Honda Accord?

by John Willis

Honda began making the Accord in 1976 and still makes it as of 2010. The Accord quickly gained a reputation it still enjoys: one of the best midsized economy cars made and one of the most popular. Regardless of quality, like any car, given enough time and use, it will begin to have issues. One such issue is overheating, which can be caused by a number of issues.

Low Motor Oil

Lack of motor is the worst and potentially most serious cause. The heat in your car is created by two things: the detonation of fuel and friction. Oil protects vital engine parts from friction damage. Without oil, your engine will overheat and seize or otherwise be completely destroyed. There are a few ways your Accord can be damaged from a lack of motor oil. If your car burns oil from worn rings and engine wear and the oil is not replaced, naturally it will get low. The less oil your engine has, the less protection it can provide. With low oil, eventually your car will overheat under normal operation. Or, it might seem to run fine but then overheat if the engine works harder with low oil. Another way is a catastrophic parts failure, which drains your oil, such as a ruptured oil pan. Perhaps the most unfortunate way is to begin changing the oil, and somehow forget to put it back in. It sounds impossible, but it happens. Regardless of the cause, if your car has low oil, it will overheat, and if it's not allowed to cool immediately, it will cause severe damage.


While oil is the most critical fluid, you need others as well. Your Accord needs water or coolant in the radiator. It may sound counterintuitive, but your Accord is prone to overheating in cold weather because the water in the radiator can freeze, ceasing its cooling function. In cold weather, you need anti-freeze to keep your radiator working.


Your Accord has a thermostat that gauges the core temperature of the engine so the engine can be moderated. If the thermostat breaks or wears out, there is no feedback to your cooling system, which will result in overheating.

Other Parts

A broken or loose belt can cause you fan belt to malfunction. This may not cause overheating in all weather conditions, but it will definitely cause overeating in warm weather. Faulty water pumps are also common culprits. Without an operational water pump, you car's liquid cooling system doesn't circulate fast enough to dissipate heat. The radiator itself can essentially wear out, or the core can become clogged, restricting the flow of coolant and causing overheating.

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