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3.4 engine oil temperature - is mine higher than it should be?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by N81292, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:16 PM
    #1
    N81292

    N81292 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Recently purchased a 2002 3.4 v6.

    I'm concerned the oil temp gauge needle is just a little above the halfway mark. Wondering if this is normal. I'm not completely sure when the last oil change was, so I'm thinking of doing that anyway.

    30mqvj7_87080f81ab8e6510ac4fe486a77c0863632cbbda.jpg

    Edit: sorry idk why image is sideways it wont let me fix it

    20190213_171828.jpg
     
    TacomaJunkie8691 and ThunderOne like this.
  2. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:24 PM
    #2
    buckmaster243

    buckmaster243 I don’t know what to do with my hands

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    I think that's your water temp, but that is right where mine rides at. Like @Jay-coma said it's always good to update all maintenance for your own peace of mind. How many miles do you have on it?
     
  3. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:25 PM
    #3
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Nemesis Prime

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    Tacoma is stock and staying that way, Pickup is TBA as of now.
    You can't gauge the oil temp by the stock dummy cluster. Get yourself a ScanGauge! It will tell you exactly what you need to know down to the decibel, along with water, and A/T oil temp if you have one. It easily plugs into your OBDII port and can be mounted anywhere in the truck wherever you can see it.
     
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  4. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:27 PM
    #4
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Nemesis Prime

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    Tacoma is stock and staying that way, Pickup is TBA as of now.
    And for the record, my temp gauge needle has always gone to that exact position in the near 5 years I've owned this rig. Not a single problem thusfar!
     
  5. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:29 PM
    #5
    N81292

    N81292 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    2002 with about 220K miles. Not terribly high

    Yeah I like the idea of a scan gauge especially for these older models.

    I'm just wondering because I had a 2001 in the past, and that same needle never went over half.
     
    1997tacomav6 likes this.
  6. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:31 PM
    #6
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Nemesis Prime

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    Tacoma is stock and staying that way, Pickup is TBA as of now.
    This is common, they're all a bit different I think. More important to make sure the cooling system is working properly and not leaking. The waterpump and seals are a common weeping point after X amount of miles and should always be replaced when the timing belt is done for peace of mind. Even comes with the T/B kit from Toyota! :)
     
  7. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:33 PM
    #7
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Nemesis Prime

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    Tacoma is stock and staying that way, Pickup is TBA as of now.
    Only time the stock gauge will ever move of it's normal position is if there's a problem with the system, and by then, it's usually too late and you're already overheating or lost all coolant.
     
  8. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:39 PM
    #8
    N81292

    N81292 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So I guess mine is normal? Maybe I'm a little paranoid
     
  9. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:43 PM
    #9
    buckmaster243

    buckmaster243 I don’t know what to do with my hands

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    My 91 and 95.5 never got above half, my 2000 always sat right in the middle and my 04 sits where yours is. None of em ever gave me problems or over heated. I think it's just the different style of guage clusters.
     
  10. Feb 13, 2019 at 7:54 PM
    #10
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    That's your coolant temp, some say theirs sits a tad higher than the middle but mine has never gone over dead center. Either way, you can't really trust that gauge. You can be well into overheating territory before it'll budge towards red. Best way to confirm your coolant temp is to run a Scangauge or other kind of scanning tool and get an accurate reading. 190° is normal operating temp for these trucks. Some see regular temps closer to 200 which is fine. Mine goes between 186 - 205° depending on outside temps and what I'm doing with the truck. Once you pass 215° is when you should be worried.

    That gauge will never tell you what your accurate temp is and you can be over 215° and it wont show any danger, even though the danger is real. Get a scanner tool to know for sure
     
    Timmah! and N81292 [OP] like this.
  11. Feb 13, 2019 at 8:10 PM
    #11
    1997tacomav6

    1997tacomav6 V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger,2"pulley,meth, 650k

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    These engines don’t like heat, too much heat and you pop a head gasket.
    Get a scanguage so you know the real temp.

    My temperature runs 185-190,
     
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  12. Feb 13, 2019 at 9:20 PM
    #12
    Timmah!

    Timmah! Well-Known Member

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    OP, people have already mentioned the importance of monitoring your coolant temps someway other than the needle gauge on your dash. A Scan Gauge is one way to go but it's a little pricey compared to getting a Bluetooth OBD II reader sending info to a phone app like Torque Pro. If you have an Android phone, you can use some links in the video description below to purchase a reader and a shut-off switch. The reason for the shut-off switch is the OBD II reader draws power from the battery even when the vehicle is off. If you have an iPhone, there are apps for these phones as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/A8OTtggtQnc
     
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  13. Feb 13, 2019 at 9:36 PM
    #13
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    I use the Torque app, I like it except it'll drain your phone's battery real quick if you don't have it plugged in. I would only recommend the Scangauge over it because it's nice to have a scanner like that permanently mounted in place and there to read stats whenever you like, but the Torque app and a cheap OBDII plug in is a good way to go if you're on a budget. I do want to upgrade to the Scangauge soon though.
     
  14. Feb 13, 2019 at 9:38 PM
    #14
    eon_blue

    eon_blue Unknown Member

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    I wouldn't assume that, get a cheap OBDII plug in and download the Torque app (there's a free version) and verify your temp is good. The OBDII plug ins are like $20 on Amazon.

    Plus, with the Torque app you can monitor a lot of other things like engine light codes, intake temp, fuel trim numbers, etc. It's good to have that info at hand when you need it
     
  15. Feb 14, 2019 at 4:04 AM
    #15
    1997tacomav6

    1997tacomav6 V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger,2"pulley,meth, 650k

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    The dash guage you have doesn’t tell you the exact temperature. My dash guage actually never reads as high as you show for me.

    A scanguage will fit perfectly in the pocket below the radio.
    You squeeze it into place and it’s holds perfectly.

    Will take 5 minutes to install

    You drill a hole in the back pocket, plastic is brittle so use high speed drill and drill slowly.
    Run wires to OBD through the hole.
    Center the guage
    and your done
    Now you have all types of info at a glance

    SO simple for 150.00

    This photo was when it was over 100 degrees outside at 73 mph.
    Engine was at 186 degrees with AC on

    A445F675-33AC-4678-BB68-5A5268C62DAC.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  16. Feb 14, 2019 at 4:28 AM
    #16
    N81292

    N81292 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Looks like I know what else I'll be doing this weekend. thanks all!
     
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  17. Feb 14, 2019 at 8:27 AM
    #17
    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne Well-Known Member

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    you can reduce your engine coolant temps by up to 10 degrees by flipping your thermostat where the jiggle valve is at 6 o clock. The Factory Service Manual specifies that this is how it should be oriented. Common knowledge would tell you to set the jiggle valve at 12 o clock. For this engine that is NOT the case. People have tested with the jiggle valve in either orientation and the engine runs 5 to 10 degrees cooler with the jiggle valve at 6 o clock.

    If you are going to replace the coolant, I would recommend Toyota coolant or any long life equivalent that is RED and for Toyotas.
     
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  18. Feb 14, 2019 at 9:05 AM
    #18
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    As others have said, the temp gauge on the dash is what is called an idiot gauge. It will only move past that position if the engine gets beyond a certain critical temp.

    Then people hook up a scan gauge and freak out when they see the temp moving around. That's perfectly normal, and to be expected under different load conditions.

    But your needle seems perfectly normal. Mine has always been in about that same position, maybe a bit lower, but it's hard to tell from the perspective of the pic.

    As long at it doesn't keep climbing and you aren't getting warning lights, I do't think you have anything to worry about.

    I have the Torque app and one of those bluetooth OBDII scanners. And honestly I don't really use it anymore unless I'm checking for emissions readiness after I disconnect the battery or something, or if I need to check a code. I certainly don't leave it on all the time. I don't need to know if my temp goes up 3 degrees, lol
     
  19. Feb 14, 2019 at 10:04 AM
    #19
    N81292

    N81292 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Will any OBDII bluetooth scanner work with the Torque app? I have the app on android. But I see Bluetooth scanners ranging from $20 to $100
     
  20. Feb 14, 2019 at 11:07 AM
    #20
    jbrandt

    jbrandt ......LOADING

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    As long as it's blue tooth, it should work fine.

    Most people I think have this one (I do):

    https://www.amazon.com/BAFX-Product...id=1550171187&sr=8-4&keywords=obdii+bluetooth

    no need to spend $100 on one with the $22 one works fine...
     

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