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Have you heard of any solutions for coolant loss and an oil leak on a 1.6L Honda Civic?

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The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information regarding a cylinder head gasket leak on 1988-’95 1.6L Honda Civic engines. This information does not apply to the VTEC engines. You may have received complaints that oil is leaking externally or there is coolant loss.

This information also supersedes Honda service bulletin 97-047, dated September 29, 1997. The current corrective action prescribed by Honda involves installing a new style (MLS) cylinder head gasket and the new head bolts, p/n 90005-PM3-004 (10 required). It is important to note that the following torque procedure should only be used for the new revised style head gasket, p/n 12251-P01-004.


Use the procedure listed below to install the revised MLS gasket for 1988-’95 1.6L non-VTEC engines.

  1. Carefully remove all gasket material from the head and the block with gasket solvent and an adequate scraper. The head and block mating surfaces must be clean, flat, and smooth for the new head gasket to seal properly. NOTE: Do not use power tools or abrasives to remove the gasket material, as they will damage the head and block surfaces causing the new head gasket to leak.

  2. Before the gasket solvent dries, rinse any pieces of the gasket from the coolant passages in the head and block with water. You must remove all of the gasket material to prevent engine overheating.


  • Position a new head gasket on the block and install the cylinder head. Do not use any gasket sealers (Honda gasket) on the gasket or mating surfaces.

  • Apply engine oil to the threads and washers of the new cylinder bolts. Install the bolts, and torque them in the sequence and steps shown (see Figure 1). Do not use the head bolt tightening steps in the service manuals.

  • Step 1. Tighten all 10 bolts in sequence to 14 ft.lbs. (20 Nm).

    Step 2. Tighten all 10 bolts in sequence to 36 ft.lbs. (49 Nm).

    Step 3. Tighten all 10 bolts in sequence to 49 ft.lbs. (67 Nm).

    Step 4. Tighten bolts 1 and 2 to 49 ft.lbs. (67 Nm) again.

    For information on receiving all of AERA’s regular monthly technical bulletins and other association services and benefits, call toll free 888-326-2372 or send an e-mail to [email protected]

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