coolant leak at plate for Block Heater 2004 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
2nd Generation (2004-2010) Discussion area for the second generation Toyota Sienna.

 
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#1 Old 02-09-2010, 08:01 AM
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coolant leak at plate for Block Heater 2004

I have a 2004 Limited that has experienced many expensive repairs. Right now I have found my coolant leak but wanted to see if anyone on the forum has actually had the same problem and fixed it themselves. I have been seeing the fluid on my garage floor but at first I thought it was power steering fluid! It is red and fairly thick and oily. Yesterday I took my floor pan covering the bottom of the engine off and got up in there with a light and the coolant is leaking out of a little plate that is next to the oil filter. From this forum and the thread "Pink crud in engine compartment" Pink crud in engine compartment?? I am certain that my Sienna is leaking coolant from this plate that is in place for someone in cold climates to install a block heater.

I called my dealership parts department and he said there is not a seal or O ring on that plate and "it is probably just a liquid cement sealer" used. I called service and they want $150 to fix the leak (after I told them specifically what is needed to be fixed).

Has anyone on hear already fixed a leak on this plate / plug? When I remove the two nuts how much coolant will come out? Do I just dry the area off and put some type of gasket sealer on the plate and reinstall it? Exactly what type of cement / sealer is needed for this repair? I can post pictures as needed but it is cold here today :-0

Thanks for the help in advance!
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#2 Old 02-09-2010, 07:23 PM
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Sienna engine same as Camry, Highlander and Lexus RX330? Same problem?

Someone said this engine is common with the Camry, Highlander and RX330. Assuming this is true, is there anyone that has actually fixed this leak on this forum? I can't find the answers specific to my questions above? Here is a photo from a lexus post that is close to the same as the way it looks on the Sienna. (It is cold and raining in Atlanta and I can't get an actual photo right now.? Please respond if you have knowledge of how to replace the plate / plug and what cement to use correctly for the gasket. I don't want to start this job and have any problems and want some expert advice before I begin. See my questions above:


Look to the left of the oil filter to see the leaking area (round plate with two nuts, this covers a place to put the block heater). Nice if it had a good seal right?...
Thanks,
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#3 Old 02-10-2010, 07:38 PM
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it called Freeze plug. try searching on freeze plug

Hope that helps.
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#4 Old 02-10-2010, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camlex View Post
it called Freeze plug. try searching on freeze plug

Hope that helps.
Thanks for the reply but I don't think it is actually a freeze plug the way we would generally refer to a "freeze plug" This is actually a plate with two nuts holding it in place. From the factory it had a liquid gasket installed that obviously did not have enough material to hold it over time. A plug could be knocked out of pop out in cold weather. This plate is to be removed in the event of adding a block heater in very cold climates like Alaska.

I decided to take a crack at this repair today even though I did not get any real information on the board or pictures that would help. It went pretty smooth and the hardest part was the different combinations of sockets and drives to fit in this tight area.

This first photo shows the plate before replacing the seal.


I lowered my coolant in the radiator by draining from the petcock on the bottom of the radiator. My hopes was this would draw some out of the block and keep the loss at a bare minimum. ?? The next shows the plate removed. A fair amount of coolant came out of the hole when I removed the plate. I would guess 1-2 quarts. After drying this area I used some brake cleaner to get as much of the old black gasket material as possible.


This shows the plate removed. Funny it kind of had an o-ring formed where the liquid gasket squeezed to the center at the factory.


Finally the gasket material I choose to use to put on the plate and put er back in place. Permatex Ultra Grey RTV Silicone. I'm letting it dry there over night before I start the engine and check for leaks. It says it dries in one hour and cures in 24.

Honestly the biggest challenge and decision has been on the coolant replacement itself. Finally I just decided to put in what I had on hand. The Toyota Long Life Coolant is a long debated subject on here and other boards. I can't image that the coolant manufactures could advertise and stand behind their products if they truly don't mix with the TLLC and work well. So after much thought, debate, agony and finally just making a decision I poured in about a half gallon of distilled water and some antifreeze I mixed up in my garage. It says on the jug it mixes with all "colors" and is for aluminum engines. "This formulas has a concentrated blend of premium long-lasting inhibitors to offer protection for up to 5 years or 150K miles" Woohoo! It does contain Ethylene glycol, diethylend glycol and two other sodium things but I can't find anything about "phosphate-free and silicate-free formula". If I had it to do over I would have just bought some Peak Long Life (which says it has that stuff) or waited and ran to the Toyota dealer to get the high dollar stuff. What a pain in the butt! My guess is that my "red" color may be a little off but that will be about all that makes any difference. I will need a flush soon enough and can go back to "red" after the flush "unless I have introduced silicates into my system". It is late, I'm tired and I did not really want to wait. Will I regret it? I don't know but I do know the Permatex cost $7 so my total repair cost today was $7 as opposed to a dealer cost of $150 and that is a good dealer near me that treats me pretty good.

Hopefully this will help someone else on TN with this same engine. I think a lot of these leak but many times form a "coral like growth" instead of dripping. Really it is not that bad of a repair to save some money. I personnaly like to see photos to help me know what to expect. Sorry I forgot to capture the picture of the gasket material on the plate. That was tricky and I wanted to get it in place quickly.

BTW, I did notice that Zerex now has introduced a coolant for "Asian" cars and say it is equivelant to the TLLC. I just don't think it matters too much.
Peace

Repairs...Plsbcheap
Loyal Toyota Customer (but waivering)
2002 Tundra SR5
2004 Sienna Limited

Last edited by plsbcheap; 02-11-2010 at 09:46 PM.
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#5 Old 02-11-2010, 09:14 AM
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Nice Job, thanks for the how-to-repair.
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#6 Old 02-11-2010, 09:41 PM
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Don't "burp" by parking the Sienna up hill. Final thoughts....

Well I think I have read everything about antifreeze / coolant, anti-silicates and phosphates , oxidants, organics and in organic acids, salts, additives I ever want to know. Here is my brief summary and recommendation if you don't want to overthink this thing as I did. I really ended up needing to add only about 1 1/2 quarts of antifreeze concentrate and 1 1/2 quarts of distilled water to bring my coolant level back up to spec. Strange (if you didn't know) coolant being a quart to half a gallon low in the Sienna will drastically affect the heat to the point you with NOT get any heat!! I assumed that I had a heater core blockage when this all started only to find out the factory seal on the plug/plate as described above was causing a leak that lowered my coolant level in just a couple of weeks.

I decided to add the coolant I had on hand after the research but then after I poured it in started second guessing myself, wishing I had waited another day and went over to Toyota and got the red stuff or NAPA and got the Zerex Asian coolant. After calling the makers of Peak Long Life and Walmart's Super Tech Extended Life coolant's (OLD WORLD INDUSTRIES) I spoke to a pretty cool guy there who looked up the specs and my main question on the Walmart Super Tech (I had already poured in and was considering draining) was "is it a phosphate-free and silicate-free formula" since it is not on the bottle. He said the Peak LL and Super Tech Extended Life were identical except they change the color slightly and it was silicate-free. That info on the Peak LL is on their website here: http://www.peakantifreeze.com/peak_longlife.html
The info on the chemical make up is here:
http://www.peakantifreeze.com/msds/msds_pk_longlife.pdf

Then I found this post on bobistheoilguy's site and while there is a lot of high tech chemical language on this site I have settled on this guys comments where he explains what is in the Toyota LL "red" stuff and says that the make up is the same other than Toyota brand using 2 different salts than OLD WORLD INDUSTRIES.
Quote:
The back of the Toyota jugs lists four primary ingredients and their CAS numbers:

ethylene glycol (CAS#: 107-21-1)
diethylene glycol (CAS#: 111-46-6)
organic acid salt (CAS#: 532-32-1)
hydrated inorganic salt (CAS#: 1310-58-3)

Virtually all antifreeze/coolant products in general use, except those based on propylene glycol "environmentally friendly" products use the two listed glycols. I suspect the second is an unavoidable byproduct of the synthesis procedure, but someone with more chemistry behind him than I have would be able to verify or dismiss that speculation. The two listed salts caught my attention though. I plugged the CAS numbers into my browser and got immediate hits. The "organic acid salt" in the Toyota juice is sodium benzoate. This is clearly the organic acid salt corrosion inhibitor, and obviously differs from the two that Prestone chose for its particular DEX-COOL flavor. The "hydrated inorganic salt" is potassium hydroxide. I suspect, but can't verify, that the potassium hydroxide is used as a pH buffer. (again, someone with more chemistry training would be welcome to chime in) In any event, there's reason to believe that the Toyota antifreeze/coolant is really an OAT-type, devoid of silicates and phosphates (or very nearly so), and though not identical to any of the licensed DEX-COOLs, is close enough in principle that Toyotas would run just dandy on Prestone DEX-COOL, and quite probably, a HOAT formula such as Zerex G-05. About the only thing I wouldn't trust to a recent Toyota that came factory filled with cherry soda-pop coolant would be silicate and phosphate-laden conventional Prestone. By the way, the new -cheap- SuperTech extended life antifreeze/coolant at Wally*World lists the same ingredients as Prestone's licensed DEX-COOL, much of the same descriptive text on the back of the jug, but without the licensed DEX-COOL imprimatur from GM. In another thread someone stated that the extended life SuperTech juice is dyed green, not orange. (more "rainbow confusion" for car owners, pump jockeys, and some independent radiator shop owners)
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...&Number=611606


So I didn't drain it and in the future I will avoid saving $2 or $20 and not read all this stuff, lol When I flush it next time I will put the red back in but other than a probable color change I doubt I have done ANYTHING to affect the life of the system.

FINAL THOUGHTS on doing this yourself. Don't follow other folks advice on "burping" your system to get the air out by parking on a hill with the cap off and letting it run for a few minutes. Not on the Sienna. The cap is towards the firewall and therefore it spills everywhere. I had poured all the original toyo coolant back in (I drained it down from the radiator petcock so that it lessened the loss of fluid when removing the plate for the repair) through the manifold opening (where the cap goes). I slowly filled the radiator this way and never spilled a drop. It filled all the way up to the overflow hose that goes back to the overflow tank. Cool I thought... so I cranked the van as the poster on TN suggested and backed down my drive way about 25 feet to elevate the front end, had my hood still open!! When I got out antifreeze was pushing out of the neck so I quickly capped it. It made a mess so DON'T DO IT.

I am going to watch my temp, feel my hoses, drive it, let it cool and check it for a couple of days. I may read some more tomorrow about bleeding air but for now I'm done. Hope this helps someone. Don't waste your life... I think I did.

Repairs...Plsbcheap
Loyal Toyota Customer (but waivering)
2002 Tundra SR5
2004 Sienna Limited
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#7 Old 05-20-2012, 03:50 PM
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Thank you for the how-to-repair, this helps me. 2005 Sienna LE

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#8 Old 05-20-2012, 06:33 PM
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As an owner of an '04 Sienna and '06 Camry I appreciate the amount of work and research and SHARING of your efforts and hoping I don't have to deal with this.

TU and a frosty one for you!
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