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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, got a strange one, I powerwashed my 96 Camry DX plus when I noticed anti-freeze dripping from both sides of the car at the front door and quarter panel. I couldn't find any leaks, and found the engine running a little hotter than usual. Then I drove around and noticed the temp dropped to cold the faster I went, determined that the temp sending unit was bad and replaced. Since then the temp reading looks fine but the car heats up to normal temps within a few mins in cold weather. Took the car for drive about 250 miles without a problem but when I got off the highway and slowed down I could smell anti-freeze. When I stopped the car at a light the temp rose to red and noticed that the hose at the top of the rad to the engine had collapsed (more like a vaccuum). I let the car cool down and removed the cap to release pressure and the hose went back to normal. I also checked the fans by running the ac and they both kicked in. What could be causing this? Thx.....
 

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sounds like you had air in the cooling system. that would be the cause of the erratic temperature gauge, not a faulty sensor.

for air to be present, it has to be there because of a leak. have the cooling system pressure tested at any garage and tighten/replace any leaking hoses... and hope your head gasket hasn't blown.

good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm, sounds good but why when I replaced the sending unit the temp reading did not drop while hwy driving like it did before I replaced it? and why would removing the rad cap suck air in and allow the hose to reform (seems like vaccuum). Pardon my ignorance.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just bled the coolant system, there was alot of air in there. I will see what happens!! Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
There is no leak, I assume the anti-freeze that began to leak was coming from the overflow, but I am not sure. I cannot find any leaks. I attempted to bleed the cooling system but as the car idled for 15 mins it began to overheat and anti freeze was coming out of the rad (i removed the cap to release excess air). I let it cool and found that the hose still 'vaccuumed'. I removed the cap and topped up the rad up twice since then. I then checked both hoses, squeezing on and I could feel that pressure on the other. Still not sure if there is more air in there or if I have another problem. I did have the rad replaced a little over a year ago.
 

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I had a problem very similar to yours. It would overheat really quick, and the pressure would build up in no time. Come to find out that I had air in somewhere between the radiator and inlet on the engine. I did the hose squeeze and never felt anything out of the ordinary. I finally loosened the clamp on the lower hose as it connects to the engine, and when I squeezed it again, I could hear air excaping. Put the clamp back on, started the engine up with the radiator cap off, and voila, within a few minutes the car was heating up correctly and I could tell the themostat was opening up by watching the antifreeze flow through the radiator. If you're sure there aren't any leaks, I would try something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I followed all the advice and still have overheating. I replaced the temp sensor, temp sending unit and the thermostat and flushed the rad. Now the car overheats when sitting idle for about 15 mins or while on the highway. The only way to cool the engine is to turn on the heat and the fan then push the AC button. Both fans kick in when I do that. I took it to the garage this morning (Last night I took my wife out for our 10th anniv. and she wanted the car today... needless to say I am in the doghouse now!!!) and the mechanic could not understand why both fans came on at the same time when I turned on the heat, the fan and the AC. He checked all relays and said they were fine. I tried to check the self diagnostic system by locating the test terminal under the dash but it there is no metal clip in terminal TE1 but there is one in E1. So I tried to locate the terminal in the engine compartment but could not find it (My Haynes manual says there are two but only show location of the under dash #2). Meahnwhile when the engine cools down the top rad hose compresses and only decompresses when I remove the rad cap (had both replaced 1 1/2 years ago). HEEEEELLLP!! Any input would be greatly appreciated .... I am going broke trying to fix this.....
 

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- Helps to have the front of car elevated also with ramps, floor jack, sidewalk curb etc. Get the radiator cap/throat higher than the rest of the cooling system including the throttle body lines and it will air bleed quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys, I did this twice as instructed, elevating the front end and it still overheats. I changed the rad cap which relieved the pressure on the hoses (only one year old and it was bad). I also checked the spark plugs to see if the head gasket was blown but they were fine. No leaking of coolant. Now the problem is the fan that does not come on. Both fans do start and keep the engine cool when the AC is turned on. Earlier today I ran the car without the rad cap for 1/2 hour, the fan never came on even though the temp almost hit red. Do I have faulty relay's? I checked them and so did a mechanic today and they 'seem' fine. The mechanic even said this is a wierd problem and could not figure it out. Heeeeeeelp!!!
 

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The control of fans is OK. There is a temperature sensor on the radiator, actually it lies on the bottom of the radiator, I think it send the signal to turn on the fans when the coolant temperature is high. Maybe this temperature sensor is defective?
But I still can't understand why it will overheat even on the highway, in winter I always get the temerature gauge indictor far below the level, it doesn't need any fans just the outside cold air can cool it down.
 

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...and with the radiator cap off you can see that the water pump is circulating coolant right ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, now I removed the rad cap and let the motor idle for about 35 to 40 mins. As the car heated up the temp gauge rose then the coolant began to overflow out of rad cap. The fan never came on. When I turned on the AC the both fans began running cooling of the engine and the temp gauge went back to normal and the coolant stopped overflowing. (I have replaced the thermostat, temp sending unit, temp sensor and rad cap, flushed the system and bled, had pressure test, checked spark plugs, no leaking, no white smoke from tailpipe although I had some condensation exiting tailpipe, checked all the relays with ohmmeter ok). I took the car for a drive this morning (-2 Celcius or about 28 degrees F) and engine temp gauge started to rise to about 3/4. Turned on AC and temp went down to about 1/2 (for the last 6 years the temp gauge read just below mid). When I let it idle in the drive again with AC on it stayed normal, just under 1/2. Whitout the AC on the temp rises over 3/4 without the fan coming on. This is driving me nuts. Is there a fuse that works with the coolant fan relay #1? or could some other fuse?
 
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