Engine getting too hot!!!

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  #1  
Old 11-14-05, 03:20 PM
rworob
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Engine getting too hot!!!

1994 Toyota Camry LE
165,000 miles
4cyl, 2.2 liter

Last week I noticed smoke coming out of my hood so I pulled over and found that I had a crack in the radiator. I recently purchased a new radiator online (a great way to buy auto parts by the way...much cheaper) and installed it this past weekend. Now, the heat guage in the car is still getting too high. Many times, the car is running up to the red zone. It seems to stay midway when I'm driving over 40 mph, but as soon as I slow down or stop, it quickly gets too hot again. I had to shut it off tonight because the fluid started spilling out of the overflow hose in the coolant resevoir.

I turned on the AC to see if the fan was working and it does spin. However, it never spins unless the AC is on it seems. I also noticed that the heat is no longer working. This might indicated a bad thermostat, however, when I drive at faster speeds, it does begin to get warm again, but not like the heat should feel like. I'm thinking that it's not working 100%.

Does anyone have any other ideas? What's most likely wrong and what should I test next?

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-14-05, 03:41 PM
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I would check for a thermostatic fan switch.
Most if not all cars have one, if equipped with an electric fan.
 
  #3  
Old 11-14-05, 09:25 PM
ASEPartsman
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Did this just start after you installed the new radiator? If so, you probably have an air pocket in the cooling system. This can easily cause these types of symptoms. You need to "bleed" or "burp" the cooling system. Some vehicles have specific procedures for doing this correctly. Toyotaman might be able to help with specifics to that vehicle, but here is a general breakdown of what to do. First fill the radiator. Then with the radiator cap off let the engine get to operating temp. You will know it has reached it because the thermostat will open and your coolant level in your radiator will go down. Top off radiator and overflow tank. Install radiator cap.
 
  #4  
Old 11-15-05, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rworob
I recently purchased a new radiator online (a great way to buy auto parts by the way...much cheaper)
Was it a Toyota radiator?
 
  #5  
Old 11-15-05, 05:51 AM
rworob
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THanks for the advice.

GWIZ: I'll check the thermostatic fan switch. Do you know how to test this?

ASEPartsman: This could very well be the problem. However, when I run the car with the radiator cap off, the coolant flows out rapidly. Is this normal? I can put a pan under the car to catch the coolant, but will it eventually settle so that I can pour more fluid in?

Slickshift: No it was not a Toyota radiator, but I got it from Radiator.com. Everything seems to fit perfectly and I think the radiator is functioning OK.

Everyone: I also noticed last night when driving that the heat worked when driving over 40mph. Then when I stopped, the heat would get cool and the temp guage would go up.

Also, I looked under the hood when the car was stopped and the engine was warm. I could hear all of the radiator fluid boiling inside of the lines. I also noticed that the top hose going to the radiator was real hot. but the bottom hose was ice cold. someone told me that this is a sign of a faulty thermostat.
 
  #6  
Old 11-16-05, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rworob
THanks for the advice.

GWIZ: I'll check the thermostatic fan switch. Do you know how to test this?
On my brothers 1995 Camry if he unplugs the connector the fan comes on. (with the car running).

Look at the link, but it appears they mixed in some pictures from adjusting valves.

http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBr...3d8013e2ab.jsp
 
  #7  
Old 11-22-05, 10:20 AM
rworob
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Update on the problem...

I installed a new thermostat and I'm still experiencing the same problems...

-Engine is getting too hot when sitting still at a traffic light
-Heat only works over 40mph

I tried bleeding the system and thought that I got all of the air out of it. It seems now as if fluid is leaking somewhere from the bottom of the radiator. Yesterday, when the engine got hot, I pulled over, popped the hood, and noticed that everything around the radiator was wet with fluid.
 
  #8  
Old 11-22-05, 12:07 PM
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It could be a failed cooling fan relay.
 
  #9  
Old 11-22-05, 03:05 PM
rworob
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Update...

I tested the fan to see if it worked by unplugging the fan switch while the car was running. As soon as I unplugged it, the fan came on. Therefore, I'm assuming it works OK.

I think there is a leak somewhere. I noticed a lot of smoke (burning radiator fluid) coming out from the radiator behind one of the fans. I just installed a new radiator, and I'm hoping that it's not defective. Is there any way that the metal fins could leak out fluid? The radiator was cheap, it's plastic with a metal core.
 
  #10  
Old 11-22-05, 04:42 PM
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Anything is possible. You must find the leak and fix it before you can figure out the overheating problem.
 
  #11  
Old 11-22-05, 04:57 PM
Supercool
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Almost all radiators are now aluminum with plastic tanks. That' normal. It really does sound like a 'fill' problem. You said that the with the cap off, the coolant runs out quickly. That means there is air in the cooling system that is pushing the fluid out.

To correct the problem, try draining the system. Remove the thermostat and fill the engine through the stat opening. Replace the stat. Continue to fill through the rad. Start and run up to operating temp, and then continue to add fluid.

Hope this helps!
 
  #12  
Old 11-22-05, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rworob
Update...

I tested the fan to see if it worked by unplugging the fan switch while the car was running. As soon as I unplugged it, the fan came on. Therefore, I'm assuming it works OK.

Assuming you unplugged the wire that goes to the thermostatic fan switch, and the fan came on.
That tells me the fan circuit is OK.
But if your fan is not coming on and the water is over heating, THE thermostatic fan switch is BAD.

When the temperature of the water reaches 199 deg. the thermostatic fan switch will disconnect the connection making the fan come on.
Like pulling the plug when the water is 199 degrees or more.
 
  #13  
Old 11-23-05, 04:24 AM
rworob
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GWIZ, Supercool, KEstas-thanks for your help. I'll try all of the suggestions that you mentioned.

GWIZ- Where is this thermostatic fan switch located? How do I remove it, and how expensive do you think it is to replace? I have a Haynes manual for the car, so I'll read up on it. I think you could be onto something here. If the switch is faulty and isn't activating the fan, it could be allowing the fluid to get too hot, which then causes it to smoke out the radiator fins. I hope I haven't already damaged the radiator by allowing hot fluid to pass through it.

Supercool- I appreciate the advice on filling. I will definitely try filling the engine core with fluid at the thermostat, then filling the radiator. Then I'll run the engine with the cap off to let the air bublle out.
 
  #14  
Old 11-23-05, 05:29 AM
rworob
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One more thing that I'd like to add to my comment to GWIZ...

I just read up on the coolant temperature switch and now realize that it's in the lower tank of the radiator. When I purchased the new radiator, it had a new switch in it. Could a new one be bad? I also remember cracking on the switch really hard when installing it into the new radiator. I might have overtightened it too. That could be a possibility.

Also, what are the different components involved with the cooling fan? Since it's not coming on when the fluid starts getting hot, the switch and/or its components might be bad.
 
  #15  
Old 11-23-05, 05:50 AM
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You could do any of the following diagnostics:

1) Install the old switch and see if the problem goes away.

2) Remove the new switch and check for continuity in a pot of water heated on the stove. It should be an on-off switch that turns on at 199.
 
  #16  
Old 11-23-05, 11:29 AM
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" Could a new one be bad? "

Yes.
It maybe the wrong one.
------------------------------------------------------
" Since it's not coming on when the fluid starts getting hot, the switch and/or its components might be bad. "

From my post # 12

Assuming you unplugged the wire that goes to the thermostatic fan switch, and the fan came ON.
That tells me the fan circuit-CIRCUIT is OK- OK.

But if your fan is not coming on and the above circuit works and the water is over heating.
THE thermostatic fan switch is BAD.
---------------------------------------------------------

KESTAS

" 2) Remove the new switch and check for continuity in a pot of water heated on the stove. It should be an on-off switch that turns on at 199. "

It appears that the CAMRY thermostatic fan switches work in the reverse.when they get hot they open up.
that's why when you unplug the wire, the fan comes on when the car is cold.

In other words its a "normally on switch" that turns off at 199 deg.
 
  #17  
Old 12-10-05, 05:32 PM
rworob
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Sorry for the long delay between posts. I haven't had time to run the fan switch test until today.

I boiled the fan switch in a pot of water and the continuity read the way it should as indicated in the haynes book.

I also checked the cooling fan relay and the main engine relay for continuity as indicated in the haynes book. Both tested OK.

With all of these tests, the fan is still not coming on when the temp gauge gets too hot (fan is not broken, it comes on when I use the AC). I'm thinking that if coolant is not getting to the lower tank of the radiator, then the switch wouldn't know to come on. As a result, I shot water through all directions of the radiator to make sure that it wasn't clogged and it didn't appear to be. The water gushed out.

I also wanted to mention that I've been driving it without a thermostat and the temp gauge is staying under half, even on long distances. The only time it overheats with the stat out is when I leave it idling for too long. When I put the stat in, it overheats real quickly regardless of anything that I do.

I boiled the thermostat to see if it would open, and it does, but not that quickly. It took boiling water (212 degrees) to open it up. Aren't they supposed to open up at 160?
 
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