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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, thanks for checking my thread out.

1990 Camry i4 5spd 270k miles


My head gasket is starting to go. I was driving it at low speeds (40mph) and realized my temp was a 3/4 of the way up. I pull over, pop the hood and see water accumulated towards the front left (belt side) of the engine and underneath the distributor. Tried to track the leak, seemed like the head gasket. Parked it and towed it home since I didn't have coolant and didn't want to throw cold water from a bottle that I had in it, it never got past 3/4 of the way up on the gauge. It wasn't gushing out but it sure wasn't a minor leak. So here is my thing, I do NOT have the money to fork over to have someone replace my head gasket, also, I figure if I have to pull the heads I might as well change the water pump and TB since I got no clue when it was last changed. My options are limited to the next 3 things

1- try to change the head gasket, belt and pump myself, which would suck cause I am not looking forward to that, but it would be most cost effective and hopefully wont mess it up. I do all the work on my car anyway and have changed a timing belt before, but never on this car. I think I would be able to do it with enough manuals and so on I guess the main problem is that I just dont feel too confident in general pluss I hate the thought of having to pull the head.

2 - try those head gasket repair bottles and hope for the best.

3- sell the car for as much as I can get for it. the car has its issues so I doubt I would get much, pluss it would be a shame considering it is otherwise a solid car and I only payed 250 bucks for it a year ago.

If any of you have any had any experience changing the head gaskets in these i4s or have experience with these head gasket "repair" solutions I would love to hear from you guys. I guess what I am looking for is either "no just junk the car" or "it's actually not that bad of a job to pull if you have general tools and repair knowledge" type comments.

Thanks for your time.

3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
8,793 Posts
First, make sure it is or isn't the head gasket...

Fill it back up with water, start the car and see if you can actually see where it is leaking from.

Head gaskets don't usually fail externally, and especially not with water (oil is much more likely).

I would guess it is a hose or two and maybe the water pump.

Did the performance of the engine change at all recently? Often, a bad head gasket will also lead to poor performance (idling, power, etc.).

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