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2005 Overheating!

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by Boulderjoe, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Boulderjoe

    Boulderjoe [OP] Member

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    Hey Guys,
    I'd like to share my overheating story with you. About one month ago, on a camping trip, my 2005 Tacoma overheated on the way home. It seems that we got low on Coolant. Okay, so I drain it, (about one gallon low), flush it, and refill it.

    Three days later, it overheated. I couldn't find any leaks. I put in a new thermostat and added about one gallon of coolant.

    Three days later, it overheated. I went to Grease monkey for an oil change etc... Oil looked fine, coolant looked fine.

    Overheated again - Took it to the local auto repair shop - they couldn't find anything wrong with it; looked for leaks, ran it for 1 hour, took it for a drive.. nothing. cost, $25

    Took it to the Toyota Dealer - they found everything wrong with it - failed radiator cap, dirty radiator, leaking water pump, exhaust in the coolant... Price? $2,900 to repair everything!!!! Nope.

    Took it to Charlies Toyota repair - They diagnosed a dirty radiator. Took it out and removed Cottonwood cotton, hair, and all sorts of dirty nasty shit from the outside of the radiator.... $160... and...

    IT WORKS!!! I've run it for one week, up to the mountains twice, in 95° heat, with AC, and it works fine. no coolant lost, no overheating.

    Whew! I was freaking out. Sometimes it can be something very simple.
     
  2. KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    First dealer's diagnosis may in fact be accurate. Leaking water pump will cause the coolant level in the radiator to go low, while a leaking radiator cap will prevent coolant from being drawn from the reservoir tank and mask the symptom. Inspect your coolant level in the radiator frequently.
     
  3. Boulderjoe

    Boulderjoe [OP] Member

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    I feel like it's a faulty diagnosis - how can a water pump and head gasket and radiator cap all be faulty? I'm sure it's possible but I seriously doubt it. I had just replaced the radiator cap the week before... Now, I don't know the whole story because my wife took it in to the dealer and I just read their report, but it sounds fishy and expensive.

    btw, I check my coolant every day... and I'm 80% sure it's fixed!
     
  4. KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    So how did your coolant level get low by a whole gallon?

    BTW, consider replacing the radiator at the 10-year mark to prevent leaks between coolant and transmission fluid compartments, which would kill your transmission quick.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  5. o0oSHADOWo0o

    o0oSHADOWo0o Just Lurking in the Darkness

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    There's your problem right there. The dealership saw a woman bring it in and figured she wouldn't know any better and they could try the shotgun approach and say everything is bad, replace it whether is was really bad or not, and make you pay for it.

    I'm not saying all places are like this, but if you think about it, the more work they do, the more money they make. :(
     
  6. Steves104x4

    Steves104x4 Well-Known Member

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    BUCKLE UP! It makes it harder for Aliens to pull you out of your Truck.
    Try a new rad cap.
     
  7. Jeffaz1

    Jeffaz1 Active Member

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    So... you think the dealer was being honest here? Because I sure don't.
     
  8. KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    ^Something caused Boulderjoe's coolant to be low by a gallon. I'd say a leaky water pump can do it. And 9 years is a reasonable timeframe for the water pump to leak.
     
  9. o0oSHADOWo0o

    o0oSHADOWo0o Just Lurking in the Darkness

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    A leaky radiator cap (that the OP replaced before going to the dealer that said the new one was bad) could have caused coolant to escape through evaporation. This could have been sped up from the engine running hot due to a dirty radiator.

    The shaft seal or gasket on the water pump could be bad, but I would think you would notice it leaking and leaving spots under the truck if coolant was leaking from the pump. (OP says no leaks and no coolant loss so far)

    Leaks usually don't get better, they get worse. Time will tell for sure.

    I say the dealer was just trying to provide a lot more service than was actually needed while making a profit. After all, Isn't that what big automotive service centers do?

    Fortunately there are still "mom and pop" garages that have a conscience and more mechanical ability than just being able to click a few keys on a computer that tells them all of the possible causes of a particular problem leading them to think every one of the causes is in fact the problem which of course motivates them to "fix" all of the possible causes. (shotgun approach)

    I guess if you're a dealer and you make money from every rock you throw at a problem, It is in your best interest to throw as many rocks as you can, as long as at least one rock hits the target. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Boulderjoe

    Boulderjoe [OP] Member

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    I think the radiator was fun of gunk on the outside, thus replicating a piece of cardboard in front of it. When it was under load it would over-heat. I was fine commuting to work but everytime I went up to the mountains or was loaded up for camping, it would overheat.... and overflow. That's my working theory.
     
  11. o0oSHADOWo0o

    o0oSHADOWo0o Just Lurking in the Darkness

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    Good job on seeing your way around the BS from the dealer. I hope everything is running well again! :D
     
  12. BamaToy1997

    BamaToy1997 ASE Master Tech Vendor

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    I still wouldn't rule out the dealership's diagnosis totally. A blocked radiator SHOULD have been found, but if not then a blocked radiator could cause an engine to overheat (as it has on more than one occasion as the OP mentioned) Continual overheating can very easily blow a head gasket, and the excessive heat can cause seals to leak when hot, but not when it cools. (Thus it leaks when it runs and gets hot, but when sitting in a parking lot it may not leak 100%) Now why would the dealership recommend a head gasket and water pump? Well, after hearing your complaints of multiple overheating, I would recommend a head gasket replacement and water pump myself. Why? Excessive overheating is bad for the bearings and shaft seals of a water pump. It is also not good for a head gasket. Now let's say I just recommend replace the radiator, and them later on it does end up overheating, even a month later. You know as well as I do that 99% of the customers would return to my shop and bitch to holy hell that I didn't properly diagnose their problem, and expect me to then replace the water pump and head gaskets for free. It is not always that a dealership or shop oversells, but sometime we have to cover our ASS because everyone is so freaking sue-happy.
     
  13. o0oSHADOWo0o

    o0oSHADOWo0o Just Lurking in the Darkness

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    Yeah, I see your point and tend to agree. I guess you really have to take the history of what has happened into account. Seems like a head gasket truly in need of replacement would become more apparent eventually though, especially after the engine has run at temperature for a long time.

    When I first saw this post I was thinking, "Where is BamaToy1997? I'll bet he has some useful input on this" :thumbsup:
     
  14. BamaToy1997

    BamaToy1997 ASE Master Tech Vendor

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    Lol. I have learned that it is a totally different perspective when you look at things from 4 different views:
    1. The owner/customer
    2. The shop owner
    3. The technician
    4. The actual failure
     
  15. Boulderjoe

    Boulderjoe [OP] Member

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    BamaToy1997,
    I get your point of view and as I said, I wasn't there to have the discussion. Did my wife leave things out and forget them when relating them to me? Of course. The thing is, coming up with $2,900 is really tough and I would rather get a clear diagnosis before replacing everything. They (the dealer) wanted to replace the brand-new thermostat I had placed 1 week before because they said that an overheating engine might ruin it. Huh? Come on, that's overkill.
     
  16. scottalot

    scottalot DCLBFTMFW ;)

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    Good point. We should all write this down ans carry it aound in our wallets lol would make for good business cards to carry around and pass out when you're somewhere a customer is freaking out.
     
  17. KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    The head gasket job probably accounts for the lion's share of that $2900.

    It gets more interesting when you relate this philosophy to the medical profession, particularly in lawsuit-happy US. Doctors prescribing very invasive surgeries off the bat without trying easier treatments (which may have lower success rate), etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  18. BamaToy1997

    BamaToy1997 ASE Master Tech Vendor

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    Yeah. I do see things from everyone's point of view. I agree that any major repair should go through a second opinion if possible.
     
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