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Tacoma Engine Toast - help w/concerns

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by SubFrozen, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:03 PM
    #1
    SubFrozen

    SubFrozen [OP] r00t

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    Hello-

    I purchased a 2007 Tacoma from a local dealership. It had 25k miles on it at the time. I put 3000 on it, and the engine blew.


    Edit: here are events from my phone as I recorded everything I did. More details, when engine light came on, when over-heating, filling fluids, exploding fluids. Better picture:
    Here's the events that happened:
    --------------------------------------------------
    Events:
    Check engine light turns on outside of Missoula. Check all gauges, everything looks normal.

    Pull over, review manual - states drive to dealership - assume amber light and text "drive" in manual means it's okay to drive. Called dealership, no answer- closed Sundays. Drive slowly to nearest gas station with hazards on.

    Pull off at gas station a few miles later, fill tank and pop hood
    Notice coolant level is low in resevoir, and is bubbling. Purchased more, topped off coolant, overfilled reservoir.
    Started truck to see if coolant left resevoir, none did, assumed coolant okay. Check engine light goes off. Assume low coolant caused light, started driving.

    Left Missoula
    Watched temp guage, check engine light turned on, temp guage drastically rose to red.pulled off road immediately, turned on hazards and took immediate exit. pulled into a closed lube center, turned off the truck and popped the hood. I noticed red fluid at bottom of engine bay. Also checked reservoir and it was still full. Let sit for a bit. turned vehicle back on, pumped gas to see if readings spiked- gauge showed normal temperature. No lights on about other issues, check engine light is off. Wondered about red fluid, checked for leaks, checked gauge for warning lights, didn't see any. Noticed small spraying leak at front lower right of radiator. Noticed red fluid coming off of 2nd radiator- Made note of small radiator leak. Made sure again reservoir full, made sure to have extra fluid, started driving out of town watching gauges for issues. Everything reported fine.

    5-10 minutes later, coolant resevoir erupts, steam everywhere. Overfilled it. Cleaned up mess and topped off reservoir, this time to top line. hose popped off from reservoir, figured pressure of over-filled did it, so popped the hose back on. Checked guage to see normal half temp. Let steam pass, cleaned up mess more and let sit. Started truck, hit gas in neutral to see if reservoir loses fluid, none. Started driving. No warning lights.

    10-15 minutes later,
    Noticed truck had hard time maintaining speed. Looked and no warning lights on. Tested speed it would maintain to be roughly 65mph. Few minutes later check engine light, AT light turn on, engine drops to zero RPM and shuts off. All other gauges show normal. Coast to side of road, pop hood, inspect, no changes- wonder if red fluid was transmission fluid. Called insurance, no tow coverage, kept losing signal.

    Engine slow at turning over, won't start. Checked reservoirs for all fluids, all checked out to be fine.


    Walked 2 miles to get cell reception.

    Called tow truck, took truck to Missoula, MT dealership. Sunday night.

    Dealership states a bracket was missing from a hose. Radiator fluid leaked out, emptied radiator.
    Engine hit 275 degrees and over heated- fried


    What were the signs?
    1 red fluid - assumed buildup from small leak or transmission fluid
    2 boiling radiator fluid in reservoir
    3 boiling noise in vehicle
    4 fill up bursts hose- re-apply
    5 losing power down freeway -
    6 engine craps out.

    According to dealership, by the time the hose popped off, the engine was overheated and failing. It was too late to solve the problem.






    This is old entry, for reference:
    ------------------------------------

    Here's the scenario. I'm driving across country, pull into a gas station and check fluids. I notice the reservoir tank is low and bubbling the typical red Toyota antifreeze. I get some green really quick and fill it up, over-filling it (oops). I let the truck run for a moment and notice it's still filled. I wrap up, and hit the road.

    A few miles later, poof, steam everywhere. I pull over and yep, my over-filling the reservoir lead to a popped lid and green fluid. I clean it up, top off the reservoir this time not going over the top line, and hit the road. All of my clusters show normal temps, etc.

    24 miles into my journey, I'm losing power. I keep going into overdrive to accelerate to 75mph; this isn't typical. A minute or so later, my truck turns off, the check engine light turns on. I pull to the side of the road, pop the hood and can't see anything. I do notice a lot of red fluid, so I assume my transmission just blew up. I call a tow and have it hauled to a dealership in Missoula, MT.

    The next day, I'm told the red fluid I thought was transmission fluid is actually the red antifreeze that goes into Toyota vehicles. I'm informed that my engine is toast, it hit 275 degrees and cooked from the inside out. There was no fluid in my radiator. Apparently a clamp was missing on a hose, which allowed the fluid to slowly leak out. I purchased this from a dealership used, and it had a lift kit, so it didn't have the certified used car warranty (dang).

    I'm baffled. I just purchased this vehicle, and now it's toast. Here are the specifics:

    1) Even though the visual indicators (reservoir tank, dash gauge) showed normal, the engine fried
    2) If there's no liquid in the radiator, it won't pull liquid from the reservoir, hence, visual indicator was false.
    3) If there's no liquid in the radiator, the gauge will default to normal running temperature, instead of falling to the bottom like other vehicles (needle just drops) or throwing an error. (design flaw?) (2nd visual indicator false)
    4) The engine will shut off at 275 degrees, automatically. This is, however, past the point of no return.


    Here are my questions:
    1) Is this a design flaw to have both visual indicators be false in this scenario?
    2) Is there supposed to be a warning when there is no fluid or low fluid in the radiator? If so, where?
    3) Is it normal for the gauge to show normal running temperature if there's no fluid? This seems odd to me, very odd.


    I'm informed this isn't covered under warranty. A used engine install will cost me $4,000-$5,000 installed, not including additional parts and labor pending what was damaged when the engine over-heated for 24 miles, give or take.


    What are my options? I've called Toyota, I've talked to 2 dealerships, and no one is willing to budge to assist me - I'm told I'm at fault for running it out of fluid. I feel the dealership sold me a vehicle that was not mechanically sound. Feedback? I right now have a $33,000.00 paper weight.
     
  2. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:06 PM
    #2
    dylandercole

    dylandercole Well-Known Member

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    Thats real bad man. Im sorry to hear that. I feel thats teh dealerships fault. but who knows. good luck
     
  3. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:07 PM
    #3
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Wow...First, Welcome to TW. Im really sorry to hear what happened. Sounds like the dealership that slod it didnt inspect it very well. It may be a good idea to consider an atturney.
     
  4. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:10 PM
    #4
    Carson

    Carson Well-Known Member

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    Possibly sue the dealer that sold you the vehicle for not giving it to you in good mechanical condition? Idk, just a thought. Sorry man.
     
  5. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:11 PM
    #5
    DanGer

    DanGer Avatar approved by 98tacomav6

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    I agree, especially if you paid $33K for a used '07 (unless that is Canadian)
     
  6. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:13 PM
    #6
    warpwr

    warpwr Junior Senior Member

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    I thought all Tacoma's came with a 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty at least. Why wouldn't that warranty carry over to the next owner? Even with a lift kit. Unless that's the reason the hose clamp was missing.

    Maybe you need to talk to a Toyota representative and I don't mean a dealer.

    After that, I would take the dealer where you bought the damn thing to small claims court. No question it was their fault. Unless you took the hose clamp off.
     
  7. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:17 PM
    #7
    SubFrozen

    SubFrozen [OP] r00t

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    26.5k for the truck, the rest is the upside down trade-in and taxes/lic.

    total 33k'ish

    The clamp was missing, not my doing. Truck sold as-is, so the dealer is saying they're not at fault.

    Toyota rep, district rep, said it's not covered.

    Look back on the questions I asked- does anyone know if there is an error light when the fluid is low?
     
  8. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:22 PM
    #8
    Razorecko

    Razorecko Well-Known Member

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    Get a lawyer.
     
  9. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:24 PM
    #9
    DanGer

    DanGer Avatar approved by 98tacomav6

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    Not sure but as War said, the 36K factory warranty extends to your truck. I have an '07 and mine is over in Marchish. You should definitely let them know that
     
  10. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:29 PM
    #10
    SubFrozen

    SubFrozen [OP] r00t

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    factory warranty doesn't cover a loose hose and a driver running the vehicle out of fluid. ;-) That's what they say. The clamp was missing on the hose, it leaked, antifreeze wasn't in the vehicle, it over-heated.

    no warnings, no lights, just died. So I asked, is there a warning light for low coolant levels? If so, where is it? if I can get this, I can show it failed, and get it covered under the warranty.
     
  11. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:31 PM
    #11
    TexasIslandBoy

    TexasIslandBoy THE RED DRAGON!!

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    my truck was used with a 6inch lift and i made them warranty fully for no cost so they looked it over and and now im worry free :) that is for 35k miles
     
  12. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:32 PM
    #12
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Not sure if there is a warning light. Personally, the gauge should have been an indicator.
     
  13. Oct 20, 2009 at 8:36 PM
    #13
    SubFrozen

    SubFrozen [OP] r00t

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    gauge showed normal running temperature up to the moment the engine shut off. Reason is the sensor is on the return line, with no fluid, it couldn't read and defaulted to normal.
     
  14. Oct 20, 2009 at 9:17 PM
    #14
    SubFrozen

    SubFrozen [OP] r00t

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    Anyone know if that's normal for the gauge to show normal while the engine cooks?
     
  15. Oct 20, 2009 at 9:19 PM
    #15
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Not that I have heard.
     
  16. Oct 20, 2009 at 9:30 PM
    #16
    Asgard

    Asgard Well-Known Member

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    No, there isn't. The gauge should tell you if you're overheating though and you troubleshoot from there. Sorry about the truck man.
     
  17. Oct 20, 2009 at 9:33 PM
    #17
    SubFrozen

    SubFrozen [OP] r00t

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    If I can show that the gauge malfunctioned, I can get it warranty repaired. Hrm...

    That's a difficult one to prove.
     
  18. Oct 20, 2009 at 9:39 PM
    #18
    Asgard

    Asgard Well-Known Member

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    Is it the dealership telling you that you drove the truck without antifreeze ? Then how come when you popped the hood there was red antifreeze everywhere ? Strange diagnosis.
     
  19. Oct 20, 2009 at 9:39 PM
    #19
    SC4333

    SC4333 Well-Known Member

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    Kind of an unfortunate situation, although, you cant always trust the reservoirs level. Just because the reservoir is full does not mean that fluid is in the radiator (as you found out). Whenever you notice the reservoir is low, it is a very good idea to do a close inspection of all coolant lines and the radiator to pinpoint where the loss is occurring at. You have to fill the reservoir with the engine running and the thermostat open in order to draw coolant into the system.

    As far as the temperature sending unit coming off the return side of the coolant system, I have no idea about that, but it sure doesn't sound like a great idea. I am going to check my truck tomorrow to see exactly where the unit is.
     
  20. Oct 20, 2009 at 9:41 PM
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    lookylookitzadam

    lookylookitzadam Retrofit Club!

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    Do you have the truck? If so just take the temp sensor out and put it in boiling water and see where it registers.

    Also, questions regarding about the 3year/36k warranty, that only applies to new and CPO vehicles.
     
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