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Hi everyone, I have a 97 camry 4 cyl. with 124### miles. I had time this morning so I refilled all the fluids that were low.

Recently my powersteering fluid has gone down quite fast, refill within one month or so, can antifreeze related component cause this problem? It's dry around the ps reservoir, something is sucking on the ps fluid pretty hard.

I also added some toyota antifreeze, the red ones. the level hit about 1/2 inch pass the full mark. Now there is a leak somewhere but I cant find it. All hoses are dry, no leak/crack in reservior and radiator visually, but I can see red droplets handing around next to the oil drain bolt, weird. Oh, does having more antifreeze than the full mark line make the car to get rid of the extra automatically?

some other questions, how do you replace the squiter thing on the hood ? my passenger side one is dead. lastly, how do you replace the sun visor? both of mine are torn, everytime I rotate the visor I get a rain down of golden flutty fibers, they are annoying and hard to clean.

I am really appreciated, thanks !
 

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Did you use PS fluid in the reservoir or did you use ATF? According the owner's manual on my 97, you must use ATF. Secondly, my PS reservoir is going down a little bit each month. not enough to want to fix it just yet. It is leaking at the junction on the firewall. NO, antifreeze has nothing to do with your power steering. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Overfilling the coolant recovery tank is not a fatal error. If you are losing fluid, it will correct itself soon anyhow. :) I would guess that your water pump shaft seal is leaking. There is a weep hole designed into the system, IIRC. This is a sign that eventually the pump will fail. The coolant will run along the block and eventually drip off - yours happens to be dripping near the oil drain plug but it isn't originating at the oil pan, obviously.

If your windshield squirter is not working on one side but the other one does work, I would suggest that the nozzle is clogged. If you can fish a very small wire into there it may allow you to unclog it. You can try disconnecting the hose to the nozzle and squirting some water backwards through the nozzle and the hose to see which one is clogged.

I would correct these two leak issues before you have a failed PS system or you overtemp your engine.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I thought atf and ps are used interchangeably :eek:
If the water pump shaft seal is leaking, what am i looking at to replace it ?
Yeah about the squirter I did try to use a thin needle, and somehow made the problem worse, its no big deal.

can anyone provide me some quick info regarding the sun visor replacement?

Thanks Gary for your help.
 

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Yeah about the squirter I did try to use a thin needle, and somehow made the problem worse, its no big deal.
Disconnect the hose from the washer bottle and blow some air through it. Gas station tire air is fine. If that doesnt unclog it blow air through the other way until it opens up.

Regarding your power steering fluid loss, without belaboring the obvious, your power steering system has a leak that needs attention. Sooner and not later. Wash down the engine including all the power steering parts and run the engine to find the leak. It could just be a loose fitting or it could be something worse but it needs to be fixed (and fast, its your steering after all).

Oh, does having more antifreeze than the full mark line make the car to get rid of the extra automatically?
Pretty much, it would just overflow out the bottle when the engine was hot. But it will make a mess, and blow coolant around in your engine and onto the belts and stuff. So i'd just take a cheap turkey baster (not the one from the kitchen lol) and suck out the excess.
 

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The power steering fluid is leaking from one of several places: The PS pump, the hoses to the rack, or the power assist part of the rack and pinion itself. If you clean off all the areas and watch them for a while, you should be able to spot the leak easily.

Your coolant could be going one of several places. The easiest way to check where it's coming out, or if it's coming out is with a pressure tester. I don't know where you could get one, but they're rather simple. I know if you bring your car to some shops they will hook up a pressure tester for free and check it out. The reason i'd check out where the coolant is going, or if it's going anywhere, is that red fuild at the drain plug could be from your transmission. Coolant when it is not in a resivoir looks deceptively clear, whereas transmission fluid is bright red even when it's only a drop.

Unless your coolant loss is radical, i'd say it's just natural coolant evaporation, or bubbles from the heating system still working themselves out. I've lost about an inch of coolant in my reservior over about a year because of evaporation and the heater core. If the coolant level continues to go down, you might have a problem. Make sure your oil does not look cloudy or smell funny after a drive. Good luck!
 

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I thought atf and ps are used interchangeably :eek:

If ATF and PS fluid were interchangeable, we wouldn't have separate bottles with different labels. Toyota just happens to have engineered their power steering system to use Automatic Transmission fluid. My Acuras, Corvette, and Mustang use Power Steering Fluid in the PS reservoir. This information is in the OWNER'S MANUAL on my car.

If the water pump shaft seal is leaking, what am i looking at to replace it ?

If your water pump is, indeed, leaking, then it needs to be repalced. Soon! I am pretty sure that on Toyota's, just like my two Acura's, that replacing the water pump means going into the engine, just as if you were doing a timing belt change. If that is the case, you need to see when the last time your timing belt was changed. When I did a TB change on my Acura I replaced the water pump as a matter of habit.


Yeah about the squirter I did try to use a thin needle, and somehow made the problem worse, its no big deal.

With the squirter, try blowing air backwards through the piece. Another thing to try would be to squirt a light solvent like WD-40 backwards through the nozzle. Worst case scenario? go to the local junkyard and pull on off of another similar Toyota. Same thing with the sun visor.

As was already suggested, you have two serious issues that need to be taken care of sooner than later.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, Im going to clean the engine bay and read through the manual accordingly. My car also feels sluggish, only getting ~300 mile per full tank of gas for the past year or so ... Can't expect anything better on an old car like this, so thanks for all the input :)
 

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i have the same problem with my windshield washer nozzle ... the left [from inside the car facing out] works fine ... but the right barely makes it to the bottom of the window

i tried using a needle and it almost stopped working altogether ... did you ever find a solution to this problem?
 

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Just a note on the windshield washer squirt-jet:

My 1997 I4 Camry was squirting barely any out of the driver-side one and none at all from the passenger-side one. So, I dig under the hood and the FIRST thing I check is to see that the tubing is connected to both jets - and lo and behold the passenger-side jet had the tubing unplugged from it (making it not squirt at all and also making the residual pressure not enough to travel farther to the driver-side and squirt well). Just my experience - but check the simple things first.

A power steering fluid leak can mess up other stuff if it starts leaking enough and onto the right (or wrong) components. I had a not-so-old alternator on a 1991 Lumina that the bearings went out on after getting a steady spray from my leaking power steering fluid pump and belt slinging it (belt had to be replaced too). Bottom line is you cannot ignore leaks of any magnitude on your vehicle (making exception for small/slow leaks such as a rear main seal that is a PAIN to get to and may not leak but a couple ounces between changes). Happy tinkering.

Tracy
 

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I replaced my sunvisors with ones from an Lexus ES300 of the same year. Color match was perfect and the mirror assemblies are much better quality. The driver's visor had a homelink garage door opener in it and lighted vanity mirrors. A little wiring and it all looks stock and works great.
 

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I checked at the dealer and Lexus ES300 does not have homelink for 1997, and is using the same part number as the 1996 visor. Looks that they changed in 1998.

Just FYI the part number for the visor with nome link changed in 2000 again, even if the ES300 model changed in 2002 (2001 calendar year).

A new visor w/ homelink is $320 at the dealer.

I located one with homelink from a 1999 model in junk yard. I'll see how good a fit they are when they arrive. I ordered both sides from the same car to be sure that the color is a match at least between sun visors if not with the roof liner.
 

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So I got the 1999 Lexus ES300, tan color, w/ homelink from junk yard for $65 each. The color is a litle different than my 97 beije interior Camry but unless you look for it you'll not notice it.

The visors where looking gray when I got them because of all the dust colected in the junk yard. That was fixed with vacuming-carpet cleaner-vacuming.

They come with the airbag lebels that are glued instead of hot pressed like on the original Camry visors. That means you can easily remove them. I choose to leave them on, but because their top edges was damaged, I cut it with a sharp cutter and a straigt edge. If you do the same, press hard on the straight edge but be light with the cutter. You do not want to cut the visor.

The mounting points are the same, but the visor will hang a little lower than the original one. But it still looks factory, even for people driving the car each day.

I already have Siena map lights installed so I just pulled the wires from it. Other options are to pull them from the dome light, or pull the wires from under the dashboard in the driver side. You need unswitched power. You can use a sheet metal screw to the body to get the negative.

Finally the homelink programing requires some patience, and it does not work as described on homelink.com at least not with rolling code door oppener. You'll have to keep the button pressed on the visor untill it turns off by itself. The instructions are saying that the light on the visor changes from slow blinking to fast when the programing is done. That didn't happen for me but I managed to get the programing done.

I'm very happy with the new visors, and my wife likes the lighted mirrors and the homelink.
 
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