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Temp gauge fluctuates frequently at higher rpms

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Old 03-27-2013, 03:43 PM   #1
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Temp gauge fluctuates frequently at higher rpms

So i have a 04 tacoma 2.7L, shes got 267,000 miles, and nothing has ever been changed on it (besides oil, brakes, minor things). And recently i noticed that when my engine is at moderatly high rpms (not very high) the temp gauge will go all the way to the top (overheating side), and if i let off the gas and let it sit in neautral then it will slowly go back down to normal. Just driving at normal rpms it starts to rise on me.

However i dont notice any difference while driving it, and i put my heater on full to see if it would help, and it barely made a difference if any. Also the air coming out of the vents was like luke warm.

Any ideas what to do?
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Is the radiator full?

I'd check / replace the thermostat, and take a good look at the water pump and radiator to make sure everything is flowing properly.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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If your coolant level is good, then it sounds like a bad thermostat that's not opening completely and letting it flow. I have no idea about whether or not that's a pain to swap on a 2.7, but that's where I'd start.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:48 PM   #4
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Checked the radiator and it was pretty much empty, im not sure how full it was supposed to be but i guessing thats my problem. Would it be necessary to do a full flush of my system? i looked online and it seems that mixing coolants can be a bad idea and im not 100 percent sure what or when was the last time the coolant was changed
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:27 AM   #5
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A full flush / refill wouldn't be a bad plan - especially with 267k on the odometer.

If you're in a hurry, a quick refill probably won't hurt anything for a few weeks - until you can get around to it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:32 AM   #6
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The radiator should be full to the top, and then fill the recovery / overflow tank to the appropriate level (hot vs. cold mark).

Check it after a day or two (engine cold), and top off as needed. If you are losing fluid over time, then you have either a leak or a head gasket issue.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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Ok so im going to flush the system, but after looking online im still confused on where the drain plugs are. I found a little plug on the lower passenger side of the radiator, and im assuming thats it. But do i need to drain it from the engine also? or will I be ok to just drain it from the radiator
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
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Yes, that's most likely the plug you want (considering I can't see it)......

I'm not sure if there is a drain on the block, but maybe someone else will chime in. If there isn't then just fill the system with water and run it for a while until it gets hot enough to open the t-stat with the heater on. Then drain the radiator again and refill with antifreeze (it's OK to repeat again with water, if you want).

I don't know how much fluid the block will hold, so you may need to do some research to figure out the blend needed to get to 50/50 once it mixes with the water in the block.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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Honestly sounds like the belt could be slipping and not providing enough spin on the water pump at higher RPMs.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:42 PM   #10
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i just flushed the radiator out, except when i ran water through it i didnt let hte engine run. is that a problem?
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:46 PM   #11
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You won't get all of the old coolant out if you don't.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba353z View Post
You won't get all of the old coolant out if you don't.
how much of a problem is that? do i need to flush it out again right away? or am i ok for awhile. i used the prestone coolant that says it mixes with all kinds
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:07 AM   #13
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You're in better shape now than you we're before, but the old coolant will mix with the new and potentially reduce it's effectiveness. Not saying it will hurt anything though.

Your call.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba353z View Post
You're in better shape now than you we're before, but the old coolant will mix with the new and potentially reduce it's effectiveness. Not saying it will hurt anything though.

Your call.
ok ill just flush it out again in awhile. thanks for your help man! i really apreciate it
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:08 AM   #15
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Sorry that I missed this thread. Looks like you are on track with what you need to do. If you pull the thermostat, then you will drain out most of the coolant. You will typically have no more than 1 quart of fluid left in the block. A small percentage of coolant mixing of the old with the new is not that much of an issue, so you can do a single drain and refill without any issues. Once you are done with this of course you will want to keep an eye on your coolant level in the radiator for several weeks. (Remember do not remove the radiator cap while hot!) Loss of coolant should be addressed at that point. Some parts places will sell a dye that can be added to your coolant to help locate a leak. The dye is harmless, and will REALLY help if you have a small leak. Good luck.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:03 PM   #16
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thanks man, i changed the coolant and it fixed the issue. im gonna let it run as is for awhile, and then later ill do a flush again but do it the right way. Time to start taking care of my baby more haha
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