1999 Toyota Solara Car Overheating

Tiny
JRWALKER
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 TOYOTA SOLARA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 95,500 MILES
Hello,
I noticed my Engine light came on today, and the temperature guage was registering hot, but the car didn't appear or smell like it was overheating.

After I got home; I waited for it to cool; then I checked my oil. It was a little low, so I put in a quart. But I noticed my coolant tank was empty. There had been no leak on the ground that I noticed. So I filled the tank about 1/4 inch past the full line with 50/50 coolant (it was dark so I misjudged it a little bit).

I started the car and let it run for a few minutes. The guage still moved back up to hot. At this point I thought it was the thermostat because even though the guage was on hot; the engine light did not come on. So I decided to drive it a mile to see if the engine light would come back on and if it would actually get hot.

The guage fluctuated down from hot a brief moment then went back up to hot. By the time I got back to the house after a 1-1/2 mile drive in the neighborhood; I started hearing a bubbling sound like it was running hot, but there was no smoke. I parked the car, turned it off and went to side of the car where the coolant tank was. There was a little fluid on the ground but it was not green like Anti-freeze.
I soaked it with a paper towel and it was a very faint red and not very oily. It didn't leave a oil spot on my shirt when I wiped my hand. I started it and let it run for about 45 seconds and it sounded good.

What do you think it could be? My last oil change at Jiffy lube was done at 91205 miles, the current mileage is 95500+.

I would like to have an opinion of what it might be before I take it to a shop.
Please help!
I have no idea what the average donation is. I will give what I can afford especially not knowing what it is going to cost me to get my car fixed.

Thank you.
Jennifer
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Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 AT 10:24 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
So what you need to do is one get the red antifreeze as that is what was on the ground. The green and the red don't mix if you are not sure which antifreeze is in your car then get the universal antifreeze for all makes and models. Now what I would like you to do is remove the radiator cap when cold and see how low the radiator itself is. If it is low then fill it and then fill the overflow bottle to the full when cold line. Now if it still gets hot then I recomend taking it to a trusted shop and have a sniff test done to see if there is any head gasket problems if this checks out ok then change the thermostat. Let me know how it goes. Thanks.
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Thursday, July 9th, 2009 AT 10:07 AM
Tiny
JRWALKER
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your response. When I got up this morning my coolant tank was empty again. So I put some more antifreeze in the tank an was able to drive it to a local shop. I stopped twice within a 3.5 mile range to let it cool down before getting to the shop. I'm told my water pump need to be replace along with the thermostat. I'm being charged $619.00. Am I being taken advantage of?

Jennifer
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Thursday, July 9th, 2009 AT 3:18 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Did they do a pressure test on the radiator to see if there is a leak that can be seen or if it is an internal leak? If not then insist on this first as you don't want to waste money on a maybe. Just to let you know according to my estimater which is calculated by average dealer rate and parts that it should only cost about 466.76. Now if this shop will not do a pressure test and a chemical test if the pressure test proves invalid then I would call around and check with friends and find a shop that will. See what a pressure test does is puts pressure on the coolant system so you can see if there are any leaks like water pump or a hose or radiator etc. Now the chemical test is used when you can't find any leaks. What they do here is put a beaker like thing inplace of the radiator cap and then put a chemical in it and start the car this chemical will change color if there is combustion gases getting into the radiator meaning that there is a head or head gasket problem. So please calmly ask questions about this and insist on it if it hasn't been done. If you do this and make it sound like you kinda know what you are talking about they will figure you do and be more thorogh. Let me know how it goes and what you find out ok. Thanks
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Friday, July 10th, 2009 AT 9:21 AM

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