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Diagnosing Cooling problems

Discussion in 'Diagnosis/Help' started by Stig, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. RS_pt

    RS_pt Member

    Hello there again

    I was unsure where to post (here or in smoking/oil comsumption), but what I have to ask is a bit of both topics.

    Here's the thing:

    -My car takes at least 5 minutes (driving) for its idling speed to start dropping (my actual question on this post).
    -It smokes a lot when cold and a bit after warming up (more noticable when the wheather is cold). The smoke is not very dense and its white, and actually smells really nice (I love the smell of well burnt gas :hehe ).
    -It uses about 0.5L every 5000Km of oil.
    -I am guilty of having "mud" on my refrigerating fluid.
    -Also, if its a 28ÂșC sunny day and I start up my car for the first time at, per example, 3 in the afternoon, it never starts at the first time, and it needs a bit gas pedal pushing in the first 4 seconds or else it turns of. Its like its running poor.
    -I also just took out all 4 spark plugs to check if it was burning ok and they were 5*;

    So my question is: why does my car take so long to warm up and why is it reluctant to cold-starting on hot days? It just doesnt seem "healthy".
    And: Is my car's oil consumption in the normal standarts?
    It has 190.000km, its the 4a-ge engine with manual transmition.

    PS: I am also pretty sure that the thermostat is "working" as the max temperature my car goes is about 12o'clock on the temp gauge, and when it does, the fan starts running.

  2. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    1)When last did you run injector cleaner in the fuel?
    2)When did you change the thermostat?
    3) " " " " Air filter?

    Your temp gauge is normal - Toyota f/D up by not getting a sensor to match the gauge

    You should NOT be driving till the revs come down by themselves

    Your car is running rich, either a leaky injector (you don't mention increased consumption or black smoke on acceleration?)
    a clogged air filter or bad timing/tuning is causing the hot start problem and the steam
    at cold start.

    Older engines (over 150 000km) do take longer to warm up, if it's excessive the thermostat may
    be leaking and the extra fuel with have a small effect in this too.

    You can confirm the thermostat fault by feeling the radiator hoses as it warms up -
    only one should get warm and then both get hot. If both get warm there is a thermostat problem

    Your thermostat does not control the fan - it has it's own temp switch

    Oil consumption is about normal, start saving for a recon or build yourself a blacktop 7A-GE
    and give the 3S-GE boys the fright of their lives.
    200 000 is the realistict limit for those motors, your's has done well but the rings and bearings will be finished
  3. Rick89GTS

    Rick89GTS Well-Known Member Moderator Donated!

    The g/f;s Tercel dumps a puddle of coolant every couple of weeks or so.
    If I come out in the morning, you can see a puddle.
    What could be the cause of that?
  4. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    Put some cardboard on the ground and see where the leak is
    If it's under the overflow bottle, I could understand that. If it's like our cars and shuts the
    fans down when the ignition is off could be another cause.

    I don't like the way the fans are wired, would be better if the fans were wired "live" even when the ignition is off.
    I've looked at this mod and for now I'm going to fit a turbo timer even though there's no turbo.

    Next time you stop, let the car stand for a few minutes and switch back on - 9/10 the fans will come on
  5. Rick89GTS

    Rick89GTS Well-Known Member Moderator Donated!

    So does that mean it's overheating and dumping coolant into the overflow bottle, which in turn overflows and dumps it too?

    I'll try the fan thing and report back, thanks!
  6. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    Not neccessarily, I know on mine it causes a temp spike in the first few minutes of standing
    if I don't wait for the fan to shut down.

    If a connection is leaking, that is when it will leak as normally the fan will prevent the temp/pressure
    from going as high
  7. Rick89GTS

    Rick89GTS Well-Known Member Moderator Donated!

    Gonna re-check or replace the rad cap as well...
  8. Stig

    Stig ST162 Guru Donated!

    You could do a stress test by disconnecting the fan and watching for leaks,
    careful not to let it get too high

    This is how I was able to find the tiny crack in my old radiator
  9. St162 Nut

    St162 Nut Guest

    Hi my 86 manual st162 has developed a cooling problem.
    I was driving home from work the guage went into the red, I pulled over and tuned off the engine. There was coolent in the resevoir.
    I could hear it boiling in the engine. There was no heating in the car it was blowing cold air. It was a hot day around 30 degrees.
    I left the car for a few hours and tried to get it home. It went into the red again. I towed the car home. I suspected a faulty thermostat.
    Changed the thermostat ran water through the rad no problem. There is a new rad and hoses installed two years ago.
    I tested the old thermostat in hot water with the new one the both opened ok. I turned the engine by hand and felt the water pump turning and it looks ok.
    The water pump was done 4 years ago the millage was 93302 km, the millage now is113000 km.
    The coolent was nice and green with no impurities. I put in the new thermostat and filled the rad with water.
    I let the car warm up the guage went to half way the the top hose was hot the bottom one was cool, no warm air in the cabin.
    The system dosent seem to be circulating. Had the cap off the rad to get the air locks out, it stayed full no bubbles.
    Is this a faulty water pump??? Is there anything else it could be before I change the water pump??
    The head gasket is ok the oil is the right colour no milky residue under the cap or on the dip stick no white smoke and no loss of coolent.
    I took out the new thermostat again and filled it up with water again.
    The car stayed at the correct temperature with heating working in the car.
    I am not going leaving the thermostat out is this a happening because the water pump isnt working properly???

    Any info would be great
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2012
  10. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    is your fan working at all? when the temp hits halfway or so the fan should come on
  11. fernandocelica

    fernandocelica Well-Known Member Donated!

    That same problem you have I have at this moment and had it for some time now changed cyl-head gasket head ect but never the water pump I was loosing water all the time could have never seen the leak even did radiator but I have found my problem yesterday when I decided to remove my air-con pump there it was the water pump was leaking from a little hole it as on the side of it I am changing that today maybe in your case it will be the same
  12. St162 Nut

    St162 Nut Guest

    Yes the fans are coming on. I have taken out the water pump today so hopefully it will be sorted with a new pump
  13. St162 Nut

    St162 Nut Guest

    Im in the middle of changing my water pump. I have the old one out. It is a toyota one that was put in. It looks fine.
    Ill see once the new one is in hopefully this will fix it
  14. spiedr0722

    spiedr0722 Well-Known Member Donated!

    Im looking at Rock Auto now and each therm has a different opening temp (170F, 180F, 195F) Which would be best for a GE?
  15. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    the standard 180F one is just fine if your just daily driving your car. if your cooling system is healthy, this will keep your temps at around 11oclock on the gauge. i'm getting these results after a complete flush and using toyota red. it hasn't even reached 12oclock on the gauge even after driving on the highway for 2 hours straight.
  16. spiedr0722

    spiedr0722 Well-Known Member Donated!

    We just replaced the radiator and hoses and Im running toyota red coolant now. Thanks again marc! Quick question, stid said earlier in the post that of you get a new therm, that whichever one opens first is the one to use. Shouldnt that mean the 170 would be better?
  17. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    no, what he means is that if you're looking to specifically use 180, and you have a bunch of 180 thermostats, whichever amongst those is the one to choose. so same thing with 170s, whichever is first of a group of 170s is the one to use. but not between different temp therms
  18. spiedr0722

    spiedr0722 Well-Known Member Donated!

    Thanks marc! Also, we put the new radiator+ hoses and cap in a couple of weeks ago and I keep loosing coolant from the overflow bottle. My dad thought it was just air being forced out of the system, but it shouldnt take that long to do so should it? Also I cant find any leaks if that helps
  19. spiedr0722

    spiedr0722 Well-Known Member Donated!

    So I bought a new thermostat and when i got home I was checking the hanes manual and noticed that there's supposed to be a air release valve on it. Checking mine I noticed there isn't one. Do I need to go back and get one or will I be Ok?
  20. eNtraxGT88

    eNtraxGT88 Well-Known Member Donated!

    never saw an air release valve anywhere...take a pic of the manual? also, it took me a long time (1 week plus) to finally sort out my air bubbles by driving

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