94 4runner running water sound -- head gasket? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 01-02-2010, 02:18 PM
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94 4runner running water sound -- head gasket?

I'm looking to buy a used 94 4runner. I found one yesterday at a great price, but when I test drove it I noticed a sound of running water from behind the dashboard. The sound appeared as I revved the engine up to about 1500 rpm, then disappeared after a few seconds. I was able to reproduce this several times during the drive.

I googled the problem and found that this is a fairly common problem among cars, caused by having air in the coolant system and fixed by simply adding some coolant. However, I also found two sites suggesting it could be caused by a leaking head gasket. Since this is the v6 3.0 engine prone to head gasket failure, I'm worried that's the culprit... I checked with a Toyota dealership and was told the head gasket was replaced in 1999. I did not see any white smoke from the tail pipe. Engine had lots of power and drove smoothly. It has 195000 miles on it.

Any advice? Do I still need to worry about the head gasket even though it was replaced 11 years ago? Would you advice me to drop this deal and look for another 4runner? Thanks!
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#2 Old 01-03-2010, 02:00 PM
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Find out if the coolant was changed recently and if the cooling system was bled and bled properly. Otherwise I suspect a headgasket, a compression test, leak down test and a hydrocarbon test (I think that's what they call it) on the coolant will show if headgasket is bad.

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#3 Old 01-03-2010, 05:34 PM
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Not sure about 4R's, but a quick way to check for headgasket leak is to remove the radiator cap, fill the neck completely up, then look for bubbles when running.
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