Toyota Nation Forum banner

Worried about transportation this winter

1982 Views 71 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  AtoB
I'm driving a 98 Camry 2.2L. I noticed a possible antifreeze smell in the cabin today. I also noticed the coolant expansion tank is empty. I'm not sure what type of coolant to add. The internet says it's not okay to mix coolants. How do I know what type to add?
1 - 20 of 72 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
690 Posts
Just buy one meant for Asian brands (e.g. Peak, Zerex, Preston), it'll say so right on front of bottle. Easier to buy the pre-mixed type (50/50).

If not much maintenance has taken place to cooling system over the years, its is very likely the radiator cap spring has become weak, allowing too much coolant to leave the radiator, overflowing the recovery tank and then sucking every last drop back in, though it is missing some in the radiator now.

Buy a Toyota OEM brand radiator cap, 3rd party may not have the correct spring pressure, that is the key to it all working properly. Luck.
 

· Registered
2001 Camry 5SFE 4 cyl 200+ miles
Joined
·
224 Posts
Just buy one meant for Asian brands
Asian brands aren't compatible with each other. The best bet would be to go to valvoline and flush the coolant with all vehicle prestone, then it will be compatible with any coolant you might find at a gas station in the event you break down.

Also, keep an eye on the temp guage, it could very easily over heat if there's a large leak. What to do is to go to some parking lot and find a clean parking space and park there for an hour or so. Then either move to different spot or use a flashlight to see if there's any dribble under the engine bay. Then open the hood to inspect where the leak is occurring.

Or you could just take it to a mechanic. If it's the water pump expect to pay around 1500$ or so.
 

· Registered
2011 X-Runner, 2006 X-Runner
Joined
·
51 Posts
Have you noticed the passenger side floor being wet under the dash? Thats where you would see it if the heater core was leaking. You could get a cheap coolant pressure tester to pressurize the system with the car off so you can look and listen for leaks. As others have said, dont mix the coolant. If you dont know what kind it takes, check the manual. The car is probly due for a flush anyway so just flush it out with water till it comes out clean, then fill with the correct coolant.
 

· Premium Member
1993 Camry SE,V6-5MT
Joined
·
3,039 Posts
Heater core solder failure is a classic symptom of someone having used the wrong coolant for too long.

Toyota developed silicate free coolant (that "Asian Red") for good reasons and this is one of them.
 

· Registered
1998, Toyota, Camry LE, 2.2 L
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't smell antifreeze anymore. Don't see any leaks on the ground other than oil either. The driver's side carpet was dry. I will check the passenger side. I ordered some "Supertech OE Red" coolant that said it was for Toyota. I'm thinking of draining what's left in the radiator, fill with Supertech, drive to work and back, drain radiator again, pour another gallon in... Sound like a good idea? I like CamPoo's sugestion about getting a new radiator cap too.
 

· Registered
1998, Toyota, Camry LE, 2.2 L
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually I just looked into the radiator and the color of the fluid is greenish. The bottom of the resevour also has wet greenish residue. I think CamPoo is right about the radiator cap.
 

· Registered
1998, Toyota, Camry LE, 2.2 L
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@new echo owner

At this point I think it just slowly evaporated away. Or maybe some overflowed out of the reservoir like CamPoo suggested due to an old radiator cap. I'm gonna switch the coolant over to supertech toyota red in the near future when I get chance. I'm reading up on how to flush the green coolant out, and put the red in. Not sure where to recycle the stuff, though.

I'm gonna change the oil before I tackle the coolant. I ordered some synthetic oil from walmart. I am inspired by this YouTube channel called "car care nut".

Why don't car companies use the engine oil for coolant? Then there would be less things to service.
 

· just a nobody
Echo
Joined
·
9,835 Posts
If coolant was flowing out of the reservoir, you would see coolant below the reservoir.
Check the engine block area below the alternator, next to the compressor, see if there coolant tracks there. A leaking water pump usually shows up there.
Anyway, your car you decide!
 

· Registered
1998, Toyota, Camry LE, 2.2 L
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oil change did not go well. To make a long story short... my ramps are shattered and there's brake fluid all over the drive way. FAIL.

I'm not sure what happened to the brakes yet. If there is line busted, is that something I can fix myself?
 

· Registered
2001 Camry LE V6
Joined
·
190 Posts
What happened? Did you drive all the way over the ramps and jam them under the car? You could have damaged the brake lines under the car on the drivers side. If you did there’s no easy fix for that.
 

· Registered
1998, Toyota, Camry LE, 2.2 L
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Jeff83

Ramps shattered after the brakes exploded. I got the oil changed, though.

I'm not sure what to say. It was pitch dark and raining. I used the breaks pretty hard driving it on and off the ramps. I'm not sure exactly when or how they ruptured. I had a couple pieces of firewood under the rear wheels that I forgot to remove when I backed off of the ramps. Maybe they popped up and hit a break line when I rolled over them?

Then, I thought, well maybe I can get it back up on the ramps and see what happened. I was gonna take a picture of the issue and post it here. So I tried to drive it back up on the ramps. The driver's side ramp shattered. The passenger side ramp ended up wedged right where the jack point is behind the passenger side front wheel. :(
 
1 - 20 of 72 Posts
Top