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How to Check for Cooling System Leaks in a Honda CR-V

by Contributor

The cooling system is an essential part of the Honda CR-V's operation and it's necessary to check for leaks if you want it to run properly. Catching these leaks before they become a serious problem can save you money and damage to the car's engine. Checking for these leaks doesn't require extensive knowledge of auto mechanics.

Step 1

Move the Honda CR-V from its usual parking place and check the area underneath for coolant leaks. If you can make this type of check a daily routine, it can help you spot leaks without even opening the hood. However, even if you don't spot leaks with this method, that doesn't necessarily mean leaks aren't present. The engine heat can burn up the coolant leaks before they ever hit the ground.

Step 2

Open the hood and check the water pump and gasket seal for signs of leakage. The water pump on the Honda CR-V is between the engine and the radiator. The gasket seal secures the connection between the water pump and the engine block. Examine these auto parts for fresh coolant, corrosion or discoloration, which can be signs of a cooling system leak.

Step 3

Use a flashlight to inspect the radiator completely for leaks. Check for fresh coolant, discoloration and corrosion, which are prime indicators of a cooling system leak. Be sure you look on the underside of the radiator for possible leakage, which can sustain damage from rocks and road debris.

Step 4

Check the hoses that connect the radiator to the engine and the engine to the heater core for leaks. The heater core is behind the engine and close to the windshield. Examine these hoses for bulging, cracking or splitting. Inspect the clamps that connect the hoses to the radiator, engine and heater core for possible leaks, as these connections can loosen due to engine vibration.

Step 5

Remove the radiator cap and add fresh coolant to the radiator. Touch the radiator before you open it to make sure its contents are cool. If the radiator is warm or hot to the touch, wait for it to cool down before you remove the radiator cap. Twist the radiator cap one full turn, step away, wait for a minute and then remove the cap completely.

Turn on the engine of the Honda CR-V with the heating system on high. Let it operate in this manner for about 15 minutes. Switch off the engine and check the radiator, water pump, gasket seal and hoses for leaks one more time. If you still can't locate the leak, it's most likely an internal cooling system leak and you should take the car to a cooling system specialist.


  • When working with coolant it's always a good idea to wear a long-sleeved shirt and gloves to protect your skin.


  • Be very careful when handling coolant as it's extremely toxic to people and animals.

Items you will need

  • Flashlight
  • Coolant
  • Gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt

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