Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life

Some 2006-08 Honda Civic 1.8 liter engine blocks are cracking in a predictable spot, leaking coolant. Some owners are reporting that the first sign of trouble is their heaters do not work; the coolant in the heater core is gone.

This is the second of three vehicles we operate with factory created cooling jacket problems. Our F-150 has a tendency to develop internal leaks due to gasket failures; the Honda has an external leak apparently due to a casting error.

While it is good of Honda to extend the engine warranty, I do not feel they have made owners whole. If failure occurs after eight years, we are stuck with the expense of a new engine (we keep our cars for over 10 years generally). Also, when I do take long trips, I am usually on a schedule. A failure on one of these trips could mean missing a flight or a seminar. Neither of these alternatives is something I wish to risk because of a known defect. Dealing with the unknown risks is bad enough!

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