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Cooling system inoperative

929 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  bottlerocket
Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and a new '92 Toyota Paseo owner. Actually, I haven't bought the car yet from my friend until I can fix it and make sure it's worth buying. He stopped driving it about a year ago because it kept overheating. He never checked the radiator to see that it was empty--it seems to have a large leak.

I just charged up the battery and refilled the radiator tonight and started it, only to find that the fan isn't even running, and the radiator wasn't getting hot at all. No circulation of fluid, I guess. And sure enough, the temperature gauge on the dash started climbing, even at idle.

Does anybody have any tips or suggestions as to what I should do next? Is it just a bad switch? bad thermostat? bad water pump? I'm not sure what to check next, or how to pinpoint the problem without just replacing parts and hoping for the best. Any help appreciated...
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If its been sitting for a year, you better take it apart to clean all the rust out. Don't know if you can flush it out. One way to see if it circulating is remove thermostat, put the neck back, remove upper hose, keep filling rad with garden hose, start the engine and watch water coming out from top hose. Change thermostat if water does come out without it. If not, its the water pump.
Thanks for the tips!

I already know that I have to replace the radiator, since the metal fins are all blown out and corroded along the bottom of it. It looks like I might have more than one cooling system problem--like maybe a bad thermostat and and bad fan clutch, since the fan doesn't go on at all.

My bigger concern is whether any engine damage was done while my friend drove this car without a cooling system. He said he only drive it twice after it started going hot on the dash gauge, but one of those times was a 40-minute trip, and just as he reached his destination, the engine shut down automatically. I'm not sure what that means. Does toyota have some kind of an auto shutoff device for when engine temps get dangerously high?

When I idled the car last night, there was no white exhaust, no milky oil, and the idle was fairly smooth, but low. Besides checking the compression, is there anything else I can do myself to discover any possible engine damage? Should I take it into a shop, or just assume it's OK as long as it's not spewing white smoke? Thanks again.
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