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Over-Heating/leaking Radiator Corolla 2002

overheating

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#1 kcoralla86

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 04:40 PM

Hi all,

I'm looking for recommended toyota specialists/repairists in the Coventry area (Coventry, Bedworth, Nuneaton, Leamington). Recently my 2002 Corolla T-spirit has been overheating, meaning I have to refill with water alms daily. I didn't think it was a leak because I couldn't see any leaks, but now there is definitely a leak but I can't see where from. I can only guess it is from the top of the radiator as I can see a small stream of steam coming from this part of the radiator, but can't see the actual leak itself.

I have tried K-Seal radiator sealer, which was highly recommended, but this didn't work, so it sounds like I need to replace the radiator.

Also it's a little strange, as it gets hot quite quickly, and if I get out my car and go near the bonnet, I can hear the steam, but the indicator on the Dashboard suggests it is operating at normal (expected) temperatures.

I'd appreciate any recommendations over a repairist in the local area, and any other advice anyone offer.

Thank you in advance

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#2 Steven252

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 04:52 PM

Dont drive the car untill youve replaced the rad basically

Easy enough to do in an afternoon with a basic spanner set too

#3 oldcodger

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 05:21 PM

Hi,

As Steven says its not such a difficult job to replace the radiator, but equally important is filling it up and avoiding air locks etc.

Also assuming its never been changed it would be sensible to change the thermostat as well.

Sounds as if you really want someone to do it for you so phone around a few places as see what prices they give.
Try the usual natioanl places like Halfords and some of your local ones, any local repair garage near you could do it.

All those parts , rad,stat and anitfreeze would set you back about £120 retail, so if you are getting a garage to do it for you I would be looking at under £200 all in.

#4 kcoralla86

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:05 PM

Hi,

As Steven says its not such a difficult job to replace the radiator, but equally important is filling it up and avoiding air locks etc.

Also assuming its never been changed it would be sensible to change the thermostat as well.

Sounds as if you really want someone to do it for you so phone around a few places as see what prices they give.
Try the usual natioanl places like Halfords and some of your local ones, any local repair garage near you could do it.

All those parts , rad,stat and anitfreeze would set you back about £120 retail, so if you are getting a garage to do it for you I would be looking at under £200 all in.



Thanks... Yes I was quoted £164 +VAT earlier today, but this didn't include the thermostat. Just the radiator, anti-freeze & labour. But as you say I'm looking at around £200 then.

Is it really simple enough to DIY? Looking at it, I can't see how you get the radiator out and the new one in without taking the front bumper off!! Do either of you know whether the front bumper will need to come out or not? Seems like a lot of work, if the bumper needs to come off, but if not, then I can do it myself. I'd appreciate it if you can point me in the direction of any instructions/tutorials for replacing the radiator.

Also having just had a quick look on Euro Car Parts... there are 2 radiators for my car... do you know how I can figure out which I would need? (see below link)


http://www.eurocarpa...om/car-radiator

Thanks again for replying

#5 oldcodger

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:43 PM

Hi,

While it probably is the radiator leaking, are you sure is not something more simple like a loose or leaking hose ?
What about a faulty radiator cap, not the plastic one on the top-up tank, the metal one just underneath the plastic top cover ?

If you have any doubt, a good garage should be able to do a pressure test on it to show the point of leakage.

The radiator comes straight up and out, no need for bumper removal.

You will probably find £20 for a Haynes manual a good inverstment - it details all that needed to replace the radiator.
Believe they have some online manual scheme now as well as the printed books.

Not sure about the differences in the two radiators , cannot see them on that link, only the two for my 1.6 not your 1.8 tsport.
A quick call / email to ECP with your reg , vin and engine nos. should clear things up.

If you are looking into doing your own car servicing now you can save yourself some serious money longterm.

However, for the price that garage has quoted v your time and effort getting the parts, tools ,manuals it might be a good buy, though always get a couple of quotes, you might get some much better prices.

#6 kcoralla86

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 12:49 PM

Hi,

While it probably is the radiator leaking, are you sure is not something more simple like a loose or leaking hose ?
What about a faulty radiator cap, not the plastic one on the top-up tank, the metal one just underneath the plastic top cover ?

If you have any doubt, a good garage should be able to do a pressure test on it to show the point of leakage.

The radiator comes straight up and out, no need for bumper removal.

You will probably find £20 for a Haynes manual a good inverstment - it details all that needed to replace the radiator.
Believe they have some online manual scheme now as well as the printed books.

Not sure about the differences in the two radiators , cannot see them on that link, only the two for my 1.6 not your 1.8 tsport.
A quick call / email to ECP with your reg , vin and engine nos. should clear things up.

If you are looking into doing your own car servicing now you can save yourself some serious money longterm.

However, for the price that garage has quoted v your time and effort getting the parts, tools ,manuals it might be a good buy, though always get a couple of quotes, you might get some much better prices.


Hi

Thanks... I'll take a look at the Haynes manual. Been reading a few guides online which seem quite straightforward. I am pretty sure it is not a loose cap or hose, as I can roughly see where the steam is coming from, and the pipe of the right of engine that goes from the radiator to the engine does get hot. But it does vary... sometimes it can just feel a little warm and when it's squeezed it doesn't have much water in, other times you can feel the water... probably varies because water levels are constantly changing as I have to keep filling it up.

Glad I don't need to take the bumper off. I'll give ECP a call and see which radiator they say I need, then I might go do it myself.

Can I ask why you suggest changing the Thermostat at the same time?

Thanks again.

#7 oldcodger

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 04:20 PM

Hi,

You might want to download this service info from this recent post http://www.toyotaown...howtopic=137451
Its very good though the Haynes manual does cover the standard service work a lot more detail for the diyer.

The thermostat has a wax pellet to operate it, after 10 years use they can fail anytime, and if you have had overheating problems it will only speed that process up.

If you are doing it yourself, I would suggest you first replace the radiator and fill up with plain water and test if for a day to ensure there are no leaks or air locks and everything is running normally.

Then if you want to replace the stat, do that as a separate job as it involves lifting up the alternator, according to the book.

Again after testing it leakproof with water, drain it off, which will help get rid of that radiator sealer and fill up with either Toyota Long Life Pink antifreeze or a good quality standard one.

I find the best way is to put in the correct amount of concentrate anti freeze first, then top up with plain water.
If you are in a hard water area some suggest using distilled or deionised water to avoid blocking up the cabin heater matrix, which should be set to off / cold before you drain the radiator so avoiding an air lock in the heater matrix.

#8 Steven252

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 04:40 PM

Which should be set to off / cold before you drain the radiator so avoiding an air lock in the heater matrix.


All correct bar this bit. The heater needs to be left on hot so the old coolant can drain and the new stuff can get in without airlocking.

If left on cold when refilling you get airlocks

#9 kcoralla86

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:59 PM


Which should be set to off / cold before you drain the radiator so avoiding an air lock in the heater matrix.


All correct bar this bit. The heater needs to be left on hot so the old coolant can drain and the new stuff can get in without airlocking.

If left on cold when refilling you get airlocks


Hi guys,

Thanks for your help so far. Today I had the radiator replaced with a new one at a garage (opted not to do it myself). However, the engine is still getting hot. The guy at the garage asked if the car had been used much since the overheating began, but it hadn't been used much. He thought there might be a problem with the head gasket, however the car hasn't lost any power.

I'm wondering if it is the thermostat after all, and maybe it is not opening correctly?

Symptoms at the moment are:
  • Overheating
  • When driving, there is a rattling noise (usually when in 2nd or 3rd gear) but not when the car is stationary and in neutral gear.
  • The heating system is blowing air through the fans in the car, however the air is not hot at all even when the temp is turned right up to HOT. Similarly, the A/C doesn't cool.
Just to give you a background of the car:
  • I have had the car for 4 years now, and this is the first problem I have had with it, the car has been good to me so far.
  • Petrol, 1.6, Manual with A/C - T-Spirit model
  • The car has done about 105k on the mileage.
I'd be grateful for any further advice people can give me. I really hope it is not the head gasket, but don't believe it is as the car has not lost power.

Thank you

#10 oldcodger

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:44 PM

Hi,

Ah, thats not good !

Although you have given a lot of info, you have not metioned some key points.

First, has the new radiator stopped the water loss ? -don't know how many miles you have done today.
It may seem to loose a little as some little air locks come out of the system after the refill.


The overheating, assume your temp gauge is going to the top ? - from cold how long does that take, 5 ,10 15 mins ?

The Rattling when running is hopefully just Pinking due to the overheating - either way its a warning sign to cool down.


No heat from the heater unit and the air con - could be misleading / separate problems - so leave out for the moment.


What I would do, assuming the engine is now coolsih.

Start the engine and let it idle away for several mins and watch the temp gauge move up the dial - just below half way is the normal postion for mine.

While its below half way feel the top hose and the top edge of the radiatior they should remain coolish.

When the dial get to about half way the thermostat should open and you will feel the top of the radiator start flooding with warm then hot water.

If that does not happen but the temp gauge continues towords the top, then it probable the thermostat is faulty ./ stuck shut.

There is a chance that something is wrong with the water pump but come to that later if needed.

Try that test first and let us know what happens.

Dont test it when hot as the radiator will be too hot to touch !

Also mind your finger on the two cooling fans as they should cut in when the temp gauge goes above the half way mark - do they come on ??

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