Coolant Level Low

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Old 06 Aug 2006, 05:41 pm   #1 (permalink)
Chadha
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Default Coolant Level Low

Hello,

I have a 99 Camry at approx. 150K miles. Today while driving, I noticed
that the Engine temperature needle started moving upwards towards the
dreaded "H" letter and I suddenly pulled over and shut down the engine.
After popping the hood, I noticed that the coolant reservoir was down
basically nothing. This is the first time this such thing has happened to
this car. Yes, I do always crank the AC high enough during summers and this
summer has been no different than the last 4 years I have owned and driven
this car. Ofcourse, I have driven this car a lot so I do realize I have got
a lot of mileage out of it. I can think of only three possible causes for
the coolant reservoir to drop down:

a. Leakage somewhere
b. Engine consuming it much higher than it has been regularly, or
c. Since the car is getting older and has been driven a lot, she just
requires more coolant than a newer car would need


Please guide me in this very much needed help with my lovely car that I
would hate to part ways with. The last time I had coolant fluid replaced
was at 88K miles in late 2002. Could this be another reason why this could
have happened?


Also, I am wondering about 150K mile checkup list that I should get done.
I have done timing belt replacement at 79K miles and have done oil changes
almost always at 3000K miles interval and tire rotation every other oil
change.

Thanks in advance!
Rohit


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Old 06 Aug 2006, 07:39 pm   #2 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: Coolant Level Low

I like to replace the coolant (even the lifetime stuff) every 2-3 years ---
saves replacing the radiator and having inside of engine corrode. I'd get
the radiator flushed and change the thermostat. Next timeing belt change
I'd get the waterpump replaced too. Are all the electric fans working --
that could be problem too.

"Chadha" <Chadha@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:YoqdnaCGAZNh8kvZnZ2dnUVZ_rGdnZ2d@comcast.com. ..
> Hello,
>
> I have a 99 Camry at approx. 150K miles. Today while driving, I noticed
> that the Engine temperature needle started moving upwards towards the
> dreaded "H" letter and I suddenly pulled over and shut down the engine.
> After popping the hood, I noticed that the coolant reservoir was down
> basically nothing. This is the first time this such thing has happened to
> this car. Yes, I do always crank the AC high enough during summers and
> this
> summer has been no different than the last 4 years I have owned and driven
> this car. Ofcourse, I have driven this car a lot so I do realize I have
> got
> a lot of mileage out of it. I can think of only three possible causes for
> the coolant reservoir to drop down:
>
> a. Leakage somewhere
> b. Engine consuming it much higher than it has been regularly, or
> c. Since the car is getting older and has been driven a lot, she just
> requires more coolant than a newer car would need
>
>
> Please guide me in this very much needed help with my lovely car that I
> would hate to part ways with. The last time I had coolant fluid replaced
> was at 88K miles in late 2002. Could this be another reason why this
> could
> have happened?
>
>
> Also, I am wondering about 150K mile checkup list that I should get done.
> I have done timing belt replacement at 79K miles and have done oil changes
> almost always at 3000K miles interval and tire rotation every other oil
> change.
>
> Thanks in advance!
> Rohit
>
>



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Old 07 Aug 2006, 08:19 am   #3 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: Coolant Level Low

You have a leak , fill the radiator and tank and look for a leak. You
should have replaced all hoses by now.

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Old 07 Aug 2006, 08:45 am   #4 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: Coolant Level Low

Chadha wrote:
> I can think of only three possible causes for
> the coolant reservoir to drop down:
>
> a. Leakage somewhere
> b. Engine consuming it much higher than it has been regularly, or
> c. Since the car is getting older and has been driven a lot, she just
> requires more coolant than a newer car would need

================
Focus on "a".
Cooling systems in good condition do not "consume" coolant apart from
slight evaporation losses.
It is important to solve the leak because overheating the engine even
once can cause expensive damage.
Check carefully around the radiator including upper and lower plastic
tanks.
Second place to check would be water pump - especially if original.
Hoses would be least likely.

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Old 07 Aug 2006, 03:28 pm   #5 (permalink)
Wolfgang
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Default Re: Coolant Level Low

With as slow as it is being lost it could be the waterpum seal leaking too.

"Daniel" <nospampls2002@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1154958358.245291.260030@75g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
> Chadha wrote:
>> I can think of only three possible causes for
>> the coolant reservoir to drop down:
>>
>> a. Leakage somewhere
>> b. Engine consuming it much higher than it has been regularly, or
>> c. Since the car is getting older and has been driven a lot, she just
>> requires more coolant than a newer car would need

> ================
> Focus on "a".
> Cooling systems in good condition do not "consume" coolant apart from
> slight evaporation losses.
> It is important to solve the leak because overheating the engine even
> once can cause expensive damage.
> Check carefully around the radiator including upper and lower plastic
> tanks.
> Second place to check would be water pump - especially if original.
> Hoses would be least likely.
>



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Old 07 Aug 2006, 09:22 pm   #6 (permalink)
Chadha
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Default Re: Coolant Level Low

Thanks everyone for all your advice. I have made note of each response here
and will let my mechanic know about it as a probable cause and to definetely
check it out and get it fixed ofcourse.


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Old 08 Aug 2006, 11:37 pm   #7 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Coolant Level Low

Also, if the coolant level wasn't checked periodically, this is what
can happen. But like others said, your engine didn't just use more
coolant - more coolant leaked out from somewhere. Have it inspected
before it hurts the head gasket.

You have an old cooling system and it should be inspected along with a
pressure test. Usually by 100 Kmiles I'd already have replaced the
radiator, radiator cap, thermostat, and all cooling system hoses myself
on a preventative basis. Besides, the last coolant change interval was
a bit too long. Try no more than 2 years/24-30K miles.

Was the water pump replaced at 79K miles? It should have been replaced
with the timing belt after the mechanic took everything apart, even if
it "looked fine". The pump may look fine but can be the cause of the
mysterious, gradual coolant loss problem many posted.

An inoperative AC condenser fan can cause overheating. You can inspect
the fan by turning the key to ON (engine remains off) and turning the
AC on. The condenser fan will operate. Be careful of moving fan blades.
At 150K miles, the electrical carbon bushes in the alternator and fan
motors are just about used up, if not already after 100K.


Chadha wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I have a 99 Camry at approx. 150K miles. Today while driving, I noticed
> that the Engine temperature needle started moving upwards towards the
> dreaded "H" letter and I suddenly pulled over and shut down the engine.
> After popping the hood, I noticed that the coolant reservoir was down
> basically nothing. This is the first time this such thing has happened to
> this car. Yes, I do always crank the AC high enough during summers and this
> summer has been no different than the last 4 years I have owned and driven
> this car. Ofcourse, I have driven this car a lot so I do realize I have got
> a lot of mileage out of it. I can think of only three possible causes for
> the coolant reservoir to drop down:
>
> a. Leakage somewhere
> b. Engine consuming it much higher than it has been regularly, or
> c. Since the car is getting older and has been driven a lot, she just
> requires more coolant than a newer car would need
>
>
> Please guide me in this very much needed help with my lovely car that I
> would hate to part ways with. The last time I had coolant fluid replaced
> was at 88K miles in late 2002. Could this be another reason why this could
> have happened?
>
>
> Also, I am wondering about 150K mile checkup list that I should get done.
> I have done timing belt replacement at 79K miles and have done oil changes
> almost always at 3000K miles interval and tire rotation every other oil
> change.
>
> Thanks in advance!
> Rohit


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Old 09 Aug 2006, 06:44 pm   #8 (permalink)
Chadha
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Default Re: Coolant Level Low

Thanks a lot for this vital piece of advice. Water pump was replaced at 79K
miles and my mechanic is replacing water pump again as it seems to be the
cause for the leak ( in addition to timing belt change as well ).


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Old 10 Aug 2006, 12:01 am   #9 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Coolant Level Low

If he doesn't use an OEM Aisin pump (which I didn't think was that good
anyway given the common gradual coolant loss problems reported), he
should get a new Airtex water pump from the local NAPA parts store that
carries a lifetime warranty. Don't use any of those other parts stores'
blue light special.

Get a Gates timing belt from NAPA while at it, best-in-class. Were the
oil seals and pulleys replaced? Do use Toyota Red or Pink coolant, with
distilled water if called for. Don't use silicated coolant that will
grind the water pump seal.

Gates timing belt:
http://www.gates.com/brochure.cfm?br...cation_id=3487

Chadha wrote:
> Thanks a lot for this vital piece of advice. Water pump was replaced at 79K
> miles and my mechanic is replacing water pump again as it seems to be the
> cause for the leak ( in addition to timing belt change as well ).


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