Engine Cooling problem
2003 Toyota Camry 4 cyl Automatic 85000 miles
Hi I have noticed the car engine temp to fluctuate to high and low while driving. When I took to a toyota dealer, he said it was because of lack of coolant and said the water pump has a hole in it and has to be replaced, headgasket is blown and has to be replaced and also a possible head damage. I wanted to have it checked at another dealer (Midas) and they after inspecting the vehicle said there are coolant spills and engine oil on and around the engine and flushed everything and ran the car for 1/2 hr. They said they couldnt find and visible and obvious leaks in the system and said to come back after 3-4 days to have another inspection. They also did the pressurised check and didnt find any problem. Today I have taken the car again to Midas. They said that they can see the traces of coolant leaks but are saying that they couldnt exactly figure out from where it is coming from even after half an hr of engine running. They also told that they found few but a little traces of engine oil. I would have driven around 100 miles from my first check to now. They told me to come over after putting another 200 miles to figure out the problem.
Can you please help me in figuring out what the problem is? If there are traces of coolant and oil leaks cant they trace back to the root cause even after half an hr of running? Is that true? Also does this problem agravate if I run longer and longer. I am not facing the engine temp fluctuations now though. I had bought the car from the dealer 2 years back and faced zero problems till now. Also please let me know if I have to think of selling off the car, please help!
This is hard for me to answer without checking it. Can you tell me aprox what area of the engine compartment the leaks come from? To be honest, it could be a simple as a bad coolant hose and a leaking valve cover gasket. However, it could need a headgasket. As far as midas, I would recommend they place a dye in one area at a time. For example, the cooling system. After driving the car, they could recheck it with a black light and the dye will glow and help them identify where it is coming from. After that, they could do it with the engine oil. Don't allow them to do both at the same time.
As far as keeping the car, you know the condition of it. I would recommend waiting until the problem is identified.
Let me know what you find.
March, 24, 2010 AT 4:21 PM
Thanks for your reply..
I had checked with them about placing a dye and it seems they did the same thing which I was not aware of that time. Today I took the car again back to them after putting another 300 odd miles. They told that the coolant is leaking from the gasket and thermostat and would need to be replaced to avoid the leaks. They quoted $ 125 for changing the above two. They told that the engine oil is not leaking now and seems like it is fine.. can you please validate the above statement? I heard about the headgaskets but not about the gasket for the coolant system... and also how will thermostat be a problem for the coolant leak? I have asked him to show the problem area and he pointed out to the thermostat area. I am not sure whether there is a gasket in there..
i have uploaded the area of leak which i guess is coming from. You can notice a liitle pool of coolant at the bottom of one picture.
Please suggest. Thank you!
March, 24, 2010 AT 11:02 PM
THere is a thermostat housing gasket that could leak. Will they guarantee it will fix the problem?