This is a 2000 Honda Prelude. Its having a problem overheating. The car won”t overheat immediately but takes some time to get hot. The first thing to be checked is the coolant level. The car has to be cooled off to check the coolant level or you can get burned. Carefully open the cap with a rag after your certain its cooled off. If the coolant level is low then fill it up but make sure it’s very cool first or it can crack the cylinder head or engine block causing severe damage. It is possible to simply be low with no other problems. Another possibility is that the coolant is full, then you will need to look at the thermostat and water pump as possibilities of the problem. This car is eventually running out of coolant slowly and eventually getting hot. Possibilities can range from just a leak to a head gasket leak which would be the worst case. Generally when a head gasket is leaking, with the engine cool, you can take off the radiator cap and it will be bubbling, this generally tells you that the cylinder pressure is getting past the head gasket and leaking into the radiator. This is not always an indicator though.
You will also want to check to make sure the fan or fans are coming on under the hood. You will have to wait for the coolant temp needle to reach operating temperature or a little hotter to see the fans come on. If the fan won’t come on check the coolant fan fuse or relay. This would cause the vehicle to overheat primarily when it sits idle or at low speeds. Higher speeds such as highway speeds don’t require the fan to keep it cool.
First I could smell a hot coolant smell, so I got a flashlight and looked between the core support for a leak and wet spots.
Start looking from the top for coolant spraying and wet spots against the dry underhood.
Check all the hoses, they may have a split in them or be leaking around the clamp area.
I couldn’t see any visible leaks from above and didn’t see anything on the ground. After a closer look I seen the small spot in the picture above coming off the air dam underneath.
The leak was very small coming off the bottom of the radiator, dripping into the radiator tray that holds it. Then leaking onto the plastic pan under the car. When the car would heat up the leak was small and would turn into steam. This was the reason the leak was so difficult to locate because there was no easily visible leak. A leak this small can be put off for awhile with radiator stop leak but will definately need a new radiator to fix the problem.