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Discussion Starter #1
My Echo is giving me problems. The red thermostat light has been coming off and on for the past two months. I had the radiator, fan and thermostat replaced. It started blinking again after two days. I took it to a mechanic that tested to see if it had a head gasket blown. That wasn't the problem. The mechanic said it was the water pump. I had the water pump replaced today and drove approximately 12 miles home when the red light started blinking again. Any suggestions would be appreciated as to what to check next. Thanks
 

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may sound simple

i know it seems stupid but check the two medium width small length hoses that come directly from the throttle body and go right to the motor if they're loose or cracked you'll loose a small amount of fluid as well as pressure therefore the little red light. had this happen to me shortly after modifying my throttle body. like i said it seems simple but often with yotas the simplest solution is the one you're looking for.


it sounds to me like you've changed everything that has to do with the cooling system but those hoses.
Hope you figure it out
 

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Take it to a different mechanic. It's obvious this guy isn't diagnosing your problem but just wasting money guessing what parts need replacing. If that's the case, I'd be a bit worried about how well he installed the parts he did replace.

Is the fan coming on or running all the time? Did he pressure check the system and the radiator cap? Did he replace top/lower hoses? Sometime a hose can look good but is spongy.

Some of these things would be assumed that got replaced when you throw in a new radiator. When the red light is flashing the car should be overheating with the fans on and HOT!!! Before driving it when it's cold did you check the fluid levels of the radiator?

I can't imagine how much you spent for parts and labor already but... Kinda wonder about this guy's ability to even put the correct fluids in... Best just to recheck everything... along with belt tension that drives the water pump.

Good Luck!
 

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First thing you need to know is if it really is getting hot. Best would be to use a real gauge, but if it is getting really hot you will probably hear engine pinging, smell hot, and feel hot (but that's all pretty subjective and requires experience).
If it does not seem to be getting hot then perhaps the sensor is bad.
A good mechanic will run tests, and not just throw parts at it....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nothing has changed with my Echo. I bought this car brand new with 2 miles on the odometer back in 2001. I love this car especially since I'm the only owner. I had the engine and transmission replaced back in 2011. The red thermostat light was coming on and off for a few months when the radiator cracked (this year). My oldest son changed out the radiator, which didn't solve the red blinking light. He then changed the fan and thermostat since these were the original ones on the car but still no change in the red thermostat coming on and off. I ended up taking my car to a mechanic who checked for a blown head gasket using the dye test which turned out okay. I had a funny noise coming from around the waterpump so he pressure checked the system and found that my water pump was bad. I let the mechanic replace the waterpump. The car ran fine for about an hour until the red thermostat light starting blinking again. Also changed the radiator cap. These repairs have not fixed the blinking light, in fact the problem has gotten worse. I'm having to put water in my radiator every day now.

Two days ago my car started misfiring while idling at a stop light etc. and this morning the check engine light starting blinking. I drove my car over to a different mechanic today and he pressure tested it and everything turned out okay. I have water leaking under my car after driving it but he found no leaks. I am one to watch every thing these mechanics do and I do know for sure he found no leaks while pressure testing it. He said the water is most likely coming from the reservoir or radiator cap after the pressure builds up and starts overheating.

Here's the question, can it still be a blown head gasket or a cracked head even when the dye test came back normal? Am I missing something else that could be causing this problem with the overheating and losing water? I love my car but I'm beginning to think it's a lost cause. Thanks for your advice.
 

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I kind of suspect it is a blown head gasket. There are so many ways that a leak can develop. The misfiring could be telling you something. A look at the spark plugs can tell if it has been burning coolant.

All the blown head gaskets that I have experienced myself have shown themselves by pushing air and coolant back into the reservoir, which would then overflow as it got hot. If you see coolant or air pushing into the reservoir it is pretty clear that the head gasket is blown (or less common, cracked head or block).

If you don't see any problem with the reservoir overflowing you might want to replace all the hoses. Especially the low pressure side of the system, the suction of the water pump can cause the hose to collapse and effectively shut off the water flow.

Other possible reasons could be the engine running too lean, but I would think the computer would be throwing codes.

I twice had a hard time convincing a mechanic that I had a blown head gasket. I was 90% sure, but he kept running tests and replacing other things.

A lot of problems can occur when the engine overheats. The system gets over pressurized and other leaks can add to the woes. Good Luck
 

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I kind of suspect it is a blown head gasket. There are so many ways that a leak can develop. The misfiring could be telling you something. A look at the spark plugs can tell if it has been burning coolant.

All the blown head gaskets that I have experienced myself have shown themselves by pushing air and coolant back into the reservoir, which would then overflow as it got hot. If you see coolant or air pushing into the reservoir it is pretty clear that the head gasket is blown (or less common, cracked head or block).

If you don't see any problem with the reservoir overflowing you might want to replace all the hoses. Especially the low pressure side of the system, the suction of the water pump can cause the hose to collapse and effectively shut off the water flow.

Other possible reasons could be the engine running too lean, but I would think the computer would be throwing codes.

I twice had a hard time convincing a mechanic that I had a blown head gasket. I was 90% sure, but he kept running tests and replacing other things.

A lot of problems can occur when the engine overheats. The system gets over pressurized and other leaks can add to the woes. Good Luck


If it was a blown head gasket, wouldn't the car be running really crappy like with smoke coming from exhaust, whitish substance on dipstick etc. The code check for the check engine light came back as an air leak from two different mechanics. Was told possible causes could be gas cap, or a bad hose under the hood. Funny thing is that the car runs fine putt putting around town but I lose water after driving on the highway. Do you think possibly bad parts from auto zone. I purchased the radiator, fan, thermostat, water pump and radiator cap from auto zone. I wonder if I should have gone with Genuine Toyota parts.
 

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No, it may run pretty much normal, with a tendency to overheat. There may not be any smoke in the exhaust (twice this happened to me), or water in the oil. I'd suggest that a non-oem radiator might not be as good at oem (but it could be better) and if it is not big enough it could be causing it to get too hot. I would also use OEM radiator cap.
 
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