Coolant leak in my 94 Camry

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Old 15 Aug 2006, 03:21 pm   #1 (permalink)
issac.bach@gmail.com
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Default Coolant leak in my 94 Camry

Hi
Yesterday morning I discovered some smoke coming from under the hood
after I parked my 94 Camry (95K) at work. i noticed that a lot of
coolant had leaked and had collected under the two fans. i dont know
how it got there but it smelled bad.

Now, after driving back from work I noticed that the coolant container
has a small hole at the top and coolant had spilled over from it on my
drive back. There was a lot of coolant under the fans once again (the
earlier coolant had dried).

Could the coolant have leaked because of the hole on top of the coolant
container or is there a leak somewhere else, maybe in the radiator? Do
I need a radiator change or some kind of radiator check?

The car does not overheat and is running normally. I am just concerned
about the smoke coming from under the hood. Is it safe to drive the car
for a short distance?

Please advise. Thanks!

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Old 15 Aug 2006, 03:44 pm   #2 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: Coolant leak in my 94 Camry

issac.bach@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi
> Yesterday morning I discovered some smoke coming from under the hood
> after I parked my 94 Camry (95K) at work. i noticed that a lot of
> coolant had leaked and had collected under the two fans. i dont know
> how it got there but it smelled bad.
>
> Now, after driving back from work I noticed that the coolant container
> has a small hole at the top and coolant had spilled over from it on my
> drive back. There was a lot of coolant under the fans once again (the
> earlier coolant had dried).
>
> Could the coolant have leaked because of the hole on top of the coolant
> container or is there a leak somewhere else, maybe in the radiator? Do
> I need a radiator change or some kind of radiator check?
>
> The car does not overheat and is running normally. I am just concerned
> about the smoke coming from under the hood. Is it safe to drive the car
> for a short distance?
>
> Please advise. Thanks!



With the radiator cool - this is very important - open the radiator
cap, and take a look. Is there fluid in there? If no, add some water
(distilled, if you like). Room-temperature water, not chilled water.

Do you have coolant up to the FULL line in your coolant container? If
no, add some water (distilled, if you like).

Take the car in for a check-up, if you don't feel comfortable checking
the radiator yourself. How long ago did you have the coolant changed,
by the way...?

Michael

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Old 16 Aug 2006, 01:28 am   #3 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: Coolant leak in my 94 Camry

Either your radiator is going or the coolant hoses in that area. The
reservoir is off to the side so it's probably not the problem. Do you
have coolant coming out of a full reservioir? No? The plastic tanks on
top and bottom of the radiator deteriorate and develop hair line
cracks, the tank o-rings between the plastic and the metal core can
leak, or radiator hoses have pin holes from electrolysis, among the
things.

Try to locate the source of the leak. An overheated engine takes out
the rubber seal in the water pump and eventually the head gasket. It
can get expensive quickly if allowed to deteriorate.

100K is where I'd change out the rad, the hoses, and thermostat as a
preventative thing. For the cooling system, I'd use only Toyota
thermostat, coolant, and distllled water (for the Red coolant). I'd get
everything else from NAPA parts stores or online to keep the cost down
if you do the work youself. Otherwise do take it to a competant
mechanic.

This is why certain things should be done preventatively. Right, Mr
Darrett?



issac.bach@gmail.com wrote:
> Hi
> Yesterday morning I discovered some smoke coming from under the hood
> after I parked my 94 Camry (95K) at work. i noticed that a lot of
> coolant had leaked and had collected under the two fans. i dont know
> how it got there but it smelled bad.
>
> Now, after driving back from work I noticed that the coolant container
> has a small hole at the top and coolant had spilled over from it on my
> drive back. There was a lot of coolant under the fans once again (the
> earlier coolant had dried).
>
> Could the coolant have leaked because of the hole on top of the coolant
> container or is there a leak somewhere else, maybe in the radiator? Do
> I need a radiator change or some kind of radiator check?
>
> The car does not overheat and is running normally. I am just concerned
> about the smoke coming from under the hood. Is it safe to drive the car
> for a short distance?
>
> Please advise. Thanks!


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Old 16 Aug 2006, 06:22 am   #4 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: Coolant leak in my 94 Camry

You could ruin your motor, dont drive till you know what is in your
radiator and someone sees the problem.

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Old 16 Aug 2006, 11:35 am   #5 (permalink)
issac.bach@gmail.com
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Default Re: Coolant leak in my 94 Camry

Thank you everyone.

I checked the radiator and it had fluid in it. The coolant container
level is a little less than FULL, so I have left it at that. But I
could see a small hole at the top of the container and there were
distinct coolant stains starting from under this hole. I could follow
these stains upto the windshield liquid bottle and I am assuming the
coolant that went under the fans seeped from here.

The coolant was changed (topped) some 2-3 months back.

The coolant might be seeping through the plastic tank at the top,
because I saw traces of coolant at the top of the raditor also!

I guess the best thing to do is get a checkup done. Thanks again.

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Old 16 Aug 2006, 12:42 pm   #6 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: Coolant leak in my 94 Camry


issac.bach@gmail.com wrote:
> Thank you everyone.
>
> I checked the radiator and it had fluid in it. The coolant container
> level is a little less than FULL, so I have left it at that. But I
> could see a small hole at the top of the container and there were
> distinct coolant stains starting from under this hole. I could follow
> these stains upto the windshield liquid bottle and I am assuming the
> coolant that went under the fans seeped from here.
>
> The coolant was changed (topped) some 2-3 months back.
>
> The coolant might be seeping through the plastic tank at the top,
> because I saw traces of coolant at the top of the raditor also!
>
> I guess the best thing to do is get a checkup done. Thanks again.



That reminds me. On my wife's '99 Camry (70k miles), I changed the
coolant myself (last winter!), then, sometime in the spring, when I
looked under the hood, there seemed to be some red seepage on the
coolant reservoir, around the black plug (not sure what the terminology
is - the black hose/plug that runs from the radiator to the coolant
reservoir). There was even a bit of white "salt" probably from
evaporated radiator fluid.

I didn't worry about it too much, since the reservoir is still pretty
close to full. Should I be more worried?

Michael

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Old 16 Aug 2006, 12:49 pm   #7 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: Coolant leak in my 94 Camry


johngdole@hotmail.com wrote:
> Either your radiator is going or the coolant hoses in that area. The
> reservoir is off to the side so it's probably not the problem. Do you
> have coolant coming out of a full reservioir? No? The plastic tanks on
> top and bottom of the radiator deteriorate and develop hair line
> cracks, the tank o-rings between the plastic and the metal core can
> leak, or radiator hoses have pin holes from electrolysis, among the
> things.
>
> Try to locate the source of the leak. An overheated engine takes out
> the rubber seal in the water pump and eventually the head gasket. It
> can get expensive quickly if allowed to deteriorate.
>
> 100K is where I'd change out the rad, the hoses, and thermostat as a
> preventative thing. For the cooling system, I'd use only Toyota
> thermostat, coolant, and distllled water (for the Red coolant). I'd get
> everything else from NAPA parts stores or online to keep the cost down
> if you do the work youself. Otherwise do take it to a competant
> mechanic.
>
> This is why certain things should be done preventatively. Right, Mr
> Darrett?



Yes, of course. ;-)

Just trying to get a complete list of parts to order, then I'll get my
parts.

Michael

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