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ENGINE OVERHEATED ONLY ONE TIME...WHAT COULD IT BE????

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by TacomaPilot2004, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Jan 27, 2011 at 6:31 AM
    #1
    TacomaPilot2004

    TacomaPilot2004 [OP] Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I have a 2004 Tacoma V6 4x4 that ran hot the other night but it's been running fine ever since.

    A few nights ago, I was stuck in traffic for about 10 or 15 minutes. The traffic was not moving at all. Suddenly, the temperature needle started creeping up. I stayed in traffic as long as I could, but when the needle got to about 2-needle thickness away from the red, I pulled over. When I popped the hood open, I noticed the radiator overflow tank cap was not closed. I guess that might explain the radiator smell I'd been smelling for a few days. Anyhow, after it cooled off, I jumped on the highway and drove straight to the autoparts store which was about 10 miles away but it ran perfect and did not overheat. I went in the store, came out, and as soon as I started to drive home, it began getting hot again, but home was only 1 mile away so it was no problem.

    I was about to change the thermostat last night, but before doing that, I tried to re-create the same problem. I ran the car hard, accelerating hard and driving around town for about 15 minutes, and nothing. I even let it sit for about 5 or 10 minutes, and the needle was right in the middle. I can't get it to get hot again. I have no idea what to think now. Could it still be the thermostat? Could it simply be that the radiator overflow tank cap was off??? I don't want to change out the t-stat yet if there's another thing I can do. What could cause a car to run hot just one day, and run perfect the next???

    THanks,
     
  2. Jan 27, 2011 at 6:37 AM
    #2
    0BlackTaco6

    0BlackTaco6 Ive got tiger blood

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    im just taking a guess but I think it would be the thermostat getting stuck or something? Like I said im not sure but thats my guess.
     
  3. Jan 27, 2011 at 6:39 AM
    #3
    TacomaPilot2004

    TacomaPilot2004 [OP] Active Member

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    So a thermostat can get stuck and unstuck? Is that a pretty common thing to happen?
     
  4. Jan 27, 2011 at 6:48 AM
    #4
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    I had an 88 S-10 that did the same thing, overheating randomly. Changed the thermostat, flushed the radiator at the same time. Never had the problem again. Hopefully just the thermostat. That would be a cheap fix.
    If it had an electric fan I would question that but the 1st gens have belt driven fans like the 2nd gens, correct?
     
  5. Jan 27, 2011 at 6:49 AM
    #5
    Detective_Dan

    Detective_Dan "Place original and witty user title here"

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    this sounds like it could be the possible culprit. over a few years, it is possible for them to get stuck open or closed and cause some issues. i would replace it and see if it happens again, thermostats arn't very expensive
     
  6. Jan 27, 2011 at 6:52 AM
    #6
    Detective_Dan

    Detective_Dan "Place original and witty user title here"

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  7. Jan 27, 2011 at 6:53 AM
    #7
    Detective_Dan

    Detective_Dan "Place original and witty user title here"

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    yes they are belt driven
     
  8. Jan 27, 2011 at 7:15 AM
    #8
    SargeSlapnuts

    SargeSlapnuts SargeSlapnuts 보고용의!!!!

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    could be the thermostat getting stuck and unstuck. maybe not proper cooling abilities when sitting because of unsufficent air flow through the radiator i.e. cooling fan clutch or shorting out electric fan. dunno make sure your system is holding proper pressure also.
     
  9. Jan 27, 2011 at 7:17 AM
    #9
    PHaslam

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    Just had that problem last month in the girlfriends 06 honda civic. Changed the thermostat and it fixed the problem. Really east to do took all of a 1/2 an hour.
     
  10. Jan 27, 2011 at 7:29 AM
    #10
    gonzo6up

    gonzo6up Well-Known Member

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    i had the same issue with my 97 model. check the radiator and make sure it's not stopped up. With mine there was some trash in the radiator which sometmies would build up and cause the truck to overheat but it was very hard to recreate the problem.
     
  11. Feb 1, 2011 at 6:19 AM
    #11
    TacomaPilot2004

    TacomaPilot2004 [OP] Active Member

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    Thank you SargeSlapnuts!!!

    I ended up removing the t-stat and throwing a new Toyota t-stat, but it still overheated a bit. After comparing the airflow from my truck to an older 1999 Tacoma that I have sitting, I noticed the incredible difference. Went over to the parts store, changed out the fan clutch, and my tank is back up and running AWESOME.

    Thank you to everyone!!! Appreciate everyone's help and input!
     
  12. Feb 1, 2011 at 7:10 AM
    #12
    SargeSlapnuts

    SargeSlapnuts SargeSlapnuts 보고용의!!!!

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    no prob man first things you always check when overheating is coolant level, check for leaks, then thermostat, and last but not least check air flow (i.e. fan clutch, faulty electric fan, and/or bent radiator fins). if your still over heating after that then time for a new headgasket or head!!!! Cant sya i know taco any better than other cars but i do have alot of common knowledge.
     
  13. Feb 1, 2011 at 7:13 AM
    #13
    TacoNut

    TacoNut IgnoringChrisWatchingEdLi veVicariouslyThroughMJP2

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    Good Job!:thumbsup:
     
  14. Feb 1, 2011 at 6:11 PM
    #14
    TacomaPilot2004

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    Hey guys, unfortunately the truck overheated again just a few hours ago after changing the t-stat and fan clutch. While the fan clutch did help the airflow tremendously, the temperature creeped up and now I am at a stand-still.
     
  15. Feb 1, 2011 at 10:12 PM
    #15
    SargeSlapnuts

    SargeSlapnuts SargeSlapnuts 보고용의!!!!

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    you need to pressure test your system to see if you have a leak. also on a less humid day start the truck and warm it up completely and put your hand in front of the exhaust if it feels wet you might want to look into head gasket or cracked head. start with the pressure test first. check your radiator cap seal also. if you have a pressure leak somewhere in the system it can lead this sort of thing.

    are you losing coolant???
     
  16. Feb 7, 2011 at 7:04 AM
    #16
    TacomaPilot2004

    TacomaPilot2004 [OP] Active Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the input. I just now fixed the problem..FINALLY!!!

    So aparently, the lower radiator hose was very old and weak, and it had been collapsing due to the suction pressure from the water pump. I NEVER noticed it before, but I also had no idea that that was something to check for. I changed it out and it's now running great. Not a single sign of overheating. In fact, the needle seems to be even lower than the middle now!! :)
     
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