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Just Bought It - Engine Fault - Please Help!


Lorkmiester
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Hi There Guys!

OK, I'm new to Celica ownership, and the forum, and as such am really disppointed with my celica which I purchased three weeks ago now.

No laughing, but purchased from ebay, Item number: 4573364778.

Anyhow two hours into the drive home the temp gauge started to move from mid to hot, then mid to redhot!

Suspected head gasket failure once the car remained on superhot (off the gauge), so pulled over with angry wife and child on board (repeatedly ranting I told you so), to find that coolant and radiator contents was boiling, and steaming etc.

No mayonaise under Oil filler cap, no Oil and water mixing etc. 3 weeks on still driving for 20minutes (school run), then starts to overheat. If driving conseratively under 50, the car shall drive for an hour without the gauge stating it's overheating. However once out of the car, you can see and hear the coolant in the header tank boiling. On further inspection the engine fan relay has been butchered so the fan is on with ignition constantly, so the seller I guess must have known of the problem prior to sale.

Sorry for this super long and boring posting, however I am hoping that someone can put me out of my misery with regard to a possible prognosis. I spent my whole budget on purchasing the car, hence have not booked into a garage for a proffesional diagnosis as such.

Any help and advice would be much appreciated, let's hope I can get it fixed for a reasonable cost, eg, half the car's value and no more in order to be viable......

Look's a great forum, hope I can keep the car on the road, and maybe contribute in the future.

All The Best,

Sad Newbie Gen5 Owner..... :huh:

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Hello and welcome to TOC did you pay loads for your Celi??????

Sorry to hear about the problem specialy on a Gen 5... :crybaby: ... Mine over heated as soon as the new engine was put in............... the rad system needed flushing (there was a blockage of some sort) and that sorted out my problem.

Ash.

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It sounds like the thermostat to me although i have looked on ebay and noticed it has had a new radiator fitted did it have the problem before the rad was fitted.

If the old radisator had rad weld in that could block the system i would flush if i was you and go from there.

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It sounds like the thermostat to me although i have looked on ebay and noticed it has had a new radiator fitted did it have the problem before the rad was fitted.

If the old radisator had rad weld in that could block the system i would flush if i was you and go from there.

seeeee sometimes I do know what I am talking about........ Flush it, :thumbsup:

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It sounds like the thermostat to me although i have looked on ebay and noticed it has had a new radiator fitted did it have the problem before the rad was fitted.

If the old radisator had rad weld in that could block the system i would flush if i was you and go from there.

WOW! You guys are fast!! Thanks for the replies. OK, I shall enlist some help from a neighbour to flush the radiator tonight hopefully (I'm not mechanically knowledgable or skilled in anyway), if the damn rain shall stop, and then update the posting.

Thanks again, hope it helps remedy the problem. The car seems to be driving fine, no loss of power, no emissions/smoke from the exhaust.

I paid £1100 cash for the car, and was happy for the first 90minutes of the drive home. Since then have been driving my dare I say it, Mercedes, and just kept using this once every couple of days for the school run.

Thanks again! All The Best

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My first guess would be the water pump or thermostat (with your symptoms I would lean towards the water pump, but replace the stat first as it's easier and cheaper). If it was a blockage you wouldn't be able to drive for an hour before it overheats.

Put the heater on fully hot, and the blower on full speed (I think it bypasses the thermostat?). If this helps to keep the coolant temp a bit lower then it points to you thermostat, if it makes no difference then it is most likely a failed water pump, or a blockage inside the engine.

DO NOT allow the temperature to go much past half way on the gauge (it will stay at half way on a healthy car - I have never seen mine go beyond it in any conditions). Everytime you allow it to get as hot as it is getting, you are killing your engine. If you are lucky, the head gasket will not have failed - yet.

Also get on celica-club and ask around on there. Someone will probably know a bit about this car, and you are right - the previous owner must have been aware due to the fan bodge.

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My first guess would be the water pump or thermostat (with your symptoms I would lean towards the water pump, but replace the stat first as it's easier and cheaper). If it was a blockage you wouldn't be able to drive for an hour before it overheats.

Put the heater on fully hot, and the blower on full speed (I think it bypasses the thermostat?). If this helps to keep the coolant temp a bit lower then it points to you thermostat, if it makes no difference then it is most likely a failed water pump, or a blockage inside the engine.

DO NOT allow the temperature to go much past half way on the gauge (it will stay at half way on a healthy car - I have never seen mine go beyond it in any conditions). Everytime you allow it to get as hot as it is getting, you are killing your engine. If you are lucky, the head gasket will not have failed - yet.

Also get on celica-club and ask around on there. Someone will probably know a bit about this car, and you are right - the previous owner must have been aware due to the fan bodge.

Hi There MikeB,

Many thanks for the info, let's hope I have not done any further damage to the engine then!! :crybaby:

Right, I shall try the heat blower settings in the morning, and take for a short drive after flushing the rad.

I shall update this posting tomorrow, thanks for all the advice, just what I was hoping for, feeling a little more confident about the car now :unsure:

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On my gen 5 I was driving to work and noticed that the temp guage had gone throught the roof, never seen it do it before, so I pulled over, and found as you did that the water etc was boiling. :crybaby:

Anyway, to cut a long story short, it turned out to be the water pump, about 50 quid from unipart, and a mate fitted it for me, said to do the cambelt at the same time, seeing as it had to come off to get the pump out.

Hope this helps mate, sorry its not been a good ride for you so far, but I can gaurantee, get it sorted and you'll be grinning from ear to ear!!!!!! :)

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On my gen 5 I was driving to work and noticed that the temp guage had gone throught the roof, never seen it do it before, so I pulled over, and found as you did that the water etc was boiling.  :crybaby:

Anyway, to cut a long story short, it turned out to be the water pump, about 50 quid from unipart, and a mate fitted it for me, said to do the cambelt at the same time, seeing as it had to come off to get the pump out.

Hope this helps mate, sorry its not been a good ride for you so far, but I can gaurantee, get it sorted and you'll be grinning from ear to ear!!!!!! :)

Thanks for that mate, thanks to you all with your knowledgable comments, I'm feeling much more confident about the repair costs now. Just arranged for a local mechanic chap to come tomorrow and check out your recommendations with regards water pump, stat, rad blockage etc.

So, hopefully I can be driving the white beastie again this week, and sell my merc before the snow comes :rolleyes:

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So, hopefully I can be driving the white beastie again this week, and sell my merc before the snow comes :rolleyes:

I'd like to state categorically that the previous owner of this car (that'll be me) was totally unaware of such problems when he sold it.

The fan relay: I wouldn't actually call it "butchered". I removed the relay and replaced it with a jumper wire so that the fan stays on constantly. I do this in all my Celicas (on my fourth now), prompted by a boiling event on top of a Swiss mountain in my 185 due to a dodgy relay. If anything, this helps the cooling, and certainly has no adverse effects. It is not a bad thing by any means, and not an uncommon thing to do.

Certainly I forgot to give you the relay itself - if you're that worried I'll send you it.

The car had been in use daily by us, 40 mile round trip to work, right up to the date of sale, with no problems whatsoever. Reasons for sale were firstly that my gf wanted a smaller car, and secondly the mileage was creeping up (137K).

We owned it for 3 years, took it all round Europe to Hungary twice (where it was thoroughly serviced and checked by my gf's brother, who is a T Service Manager) and it was never in pain. Oil was regularly changed at 3-6000 miles, timing belt was done, and any bits that needed replacing were done immediately. I looked after it well.

I understood at the time of sale that you were getting a !Removed! good, solid car for a pretty low price. "Caveat emptor", they say, and it has to be said that you made no attempt to check any part of the car over before buying. Not that there was anything to hide on my part - as I say, I loved that car, and had no reason to believe any problem existed.

So I'd appreciate if my good name as a Celica owner (and TOC! member) isn't tarnished here.

In any case, that was over a month ago now and - as I haven't heard from you - I assumed you'd had it fixed easily enough. From the symptoms you described at the time, I suspect a head gasket problem (which, again, there had been no sign of up to date of sale and is not really a foreseeable thing), in which case you'd be well advised not to drive around in it until it's sorted. You'll only make it worse and more expensive to fix.

I know there's no mayo (which indicates a HG fault betwen Oil and coolant systems), but it sounds like there's a leak between the exhaust and cooling systems, allowing gas to escape into the coolant. This causes a pressure build-up which is eventually vented, causing the temp needle to drop again for a while until it builds up again. An easy way to check for this is to leave the rad cap off and crank the engine. A fountain of water = HG.

Be careful, because at the wrong garage with your evident lack of knowledge you'll likely be conned into buying water pumps, t-stats, etc, when that isn't necessarily the problem. As I say, the symptoms you described were very indicative of a leaking HG.

Anyway, I hope you get it sorted. Once you have, you'll find it a superb motor.

Angus

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Someone will probably know a bit about this car,

I know it inside out ... ;)

and you are right - the previous owner must have been aware due to the fan bodge.

Sorry, and no offence, but that's :censor: . See my other post.

Angus

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So, hopefully I can be driving the white beastie again this week, and sell my merc before the snow comes :rolleyes:

I'd like to state categorically that the previous owner of this car (that'll be me) was totally unaware of such problems when he sold it.

The fan relay: I wouldn't actually call it "butchered". I removed the relay and replaced it with a jumper wire so that the fan stays on constantly. I do this in all my Celicas (on my fourth now), prompted by a boiling event on top of a Swiss mountain in my 185 due to a dodgy relay. If anything, this helps the cooling, and certainly has no adverse effects. It is not a bad thing by any means, and not an uncommon thing to do.

Certainly I forgot to give you the relay itself - if you're that worried I'll send you it.

The car had been in use daily by us, 40 mile round trip to work, right up to the date of sale, with no problems whatsoever. Reasons for sale were firstly that my gf wanted a smaller car, and secondly the mileage was creeping up (137K).

We owned it for 3 years, took it all round Europe to Hungary twice (where it was thoroughly serviced and checked by my gf's brother, who is a T Service Manager) and it was never in pain. Oil was regularly changed at 3-6000 miles, timing belt was done, and any bits that needed replacing were done immediately. I looked after it well.

I understood at the time of sale that you were getting a !Removed! good, solid car for a pretty low price. "Caveat emptor", they say, and it has to be said that you made no attempt to check any part of the car over before buying. Not that there was anything to hide on my part - as I say, I loved that car, and had no reason to believe any problem existed.

So I'd appreciate if my good name as a Celica owner (and TOC! member) isn't tarnished here.

In any case, that was over a month ago now and - as I haven't heard from you - I assumed you'd had it fixed easily enough. From the symptoms you described at the time, I suspect a head gasket problem (which, again, there had been no sign of up to date of sale and is not really a foreseeable thing), in which case you'd be well advised not to drive around in it until it's sorted. You'll only make it worse and more expensive to fix.

I know there's no mayo (which indicates a HG fault betwen Oil and coolant systems), but it sounds like there's a leak between the exhaust and cooling systems, allowing gas to escape into the coolant. This causes a pressure build-up which is eventually vented, causing the temp needle to drop again for a while until it builds up again. An easy way to check for this is to leave the rad cap off and crank the engine. A fountain of water = HG.

Be careful, because at the wrong garage with your evident lack of knowledge you'll likely be conned into buying water pumps, t-stats, etc, when that isn't necessarily the problem. As I say, the symptoms you described were very indicative of a leaking HG.

Anyway, I hope you get it sorted. Once you have, you'll find it a superb motor.

Angus

Quote - So I'd appreciate if my good name as a Celica owner (and TOC! member) isn't tarnished here.

Hi Angus, it's not my intention in the slightest to tarnish your good name, or start a character assasination of any sort, as you should note from my postings. I thank you for your reply and comments as to a possible diagnosis.

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:) No drama, mate.

I'm really sad that the white car behaved in such an uncivilised fashion - I'd come to think of it as utterly bulletproof.

But really, it does sound like a HG more than anything else. If you absolutely must run it, make sure the coolant is kept topped up, and take it easy.

And don't take any crap from mechanics ... if they tell you it's something else ask for an explanation. There are symptoms for each failed component.

I've no idea what a HG job should cost, but maybe someone at TOC! could give a ball-park figure ... be careful with those garages round there, might just be looking to fleece you when they see the Merc/Celi pulling up.

Angus

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:)  No drama, mate.

I'm really sad that the white car behaved in such an uncivilised fashion - I'd come to think of it as utterly bulletproof.

But really, it does sound like a HG more than anything else. If you absolutely must run it, make sure the coolant is kept topped up, and take it easy.

And don't take any crap from mechanics ... if they tell you it's something else ask for an explanation. There are symptoms for each failed component.

I've no idea what a HG job should cost, but maybe someone at TOC! could give a ball-park figure ... be careful with those garages round there, might just be looking to fleece you when they see the Merc/Celi pulling up.

Angus

Valid comments as always Angus, I appreciate the advice. Sorry for doubting you were aware of the fault due to me looking in the fuse bx, and I only said the fan relay was butchered, because evidently I don't know what I'm looking at :blink: That's why four weeks on, the car has'nt seen a mechanic (as I did'nt want to get ripped off with a choice of just three local highland garages, and a dealer an hours drive away), and subsequently thought I would tap into the knowledge stream of the guys on here. Which has paid off :rolleyes:

Thanks again

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and a dealer an hours drive away

I'll tell you what - Alexander Wallace Toyota in Elgin are very good. So much so that I go there if I need any dealer stuff done (e.g. I always get my 4-wheel alignment done there) rather than Arnold Clark in Aberdeen, despite the 120 mile round trip. (My alternative is Toyota Kakuk in Hungary, which is a 5000-mile trip :lol:)

They let you into the service bay and are happy to explain exactly what they're doing and why, in marked contrast to AC.

The Service Manager is called William - really nice bloke - and he's seen the car before (albeit only for an alignment a couple of years ago). If you tell him it's the one that was taken to Hungary, by me who came in with the black GT4 earlier this year, he'll likely remember it. They do deal with a lot of Gen5s in there - quite a popular car at RAF Lossiemouth I believe.

You could do worse than give them a bell, they're very helpful and honest, being a small independent dealer rather than a big national one. I can't speak highly enough of them, and I guaranteee they won't mess you about.

Also, I'd get yourself over to TOC! if I were you - I think I left a flyer in the glovebox, didn't I? Not to take anything away from these fine folks here, but that's where the pooled expertise is for the 182 - and we'd be delighted to see the white car back in the club!

Angus

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and a dealer an hours drive away

I'll tell you what - Alexander Wallace Toyota in Elgin are very good. So much so that I go there if I need any dealer stuff done (e.g. I always get my 4-wheel alignment done there) rather than Arnold Clark in Aberdeen, despite the 120 mile round trip. (My alternative is Toyota Kakuk in Hungary, which is a 5000-mile trip :lol:)

They let you into the service bay and are happy to explain exactly what they're doing and why, in marked contrast to AC.

The Service Manager is called William - really nice bloke - and he's seen the car before (albeit only for an alignment a couple of years ago). If you tell him it's the one that was taken to Hungary, by me who came in with the black GT4 earlier this year, he'll likely remember it. They do deal with a lot of Gen5s in there - quite a popular car at RAF Lossiemouth I believe.

You could do worse than give them a bell, they're very helpful and honest, being a small independent dealer rather than a big national one. I can't speak highly enough of them, and I guaranteee they won't mess you about.

Also, I'd get yourself over to TOC! if I were you - I think I left a flyer in the glovebox, didn't I? Not to take anything away from these fine folks here, but that's where the pooled expertise is for the 182 - and we'd be delighted to see the white car back in the club!

Angus

Superb!! :)

Thanks for the info, shall call the garage this afternoon with regards to getting it booked in....

Shall also register with TOC!, have'nt seen a flyer in the car though....

I shall let you know how I get on.

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Someone will probably know a bit about this car,

I know it inside out ... ;)

and you are right - the previous owner must have been aware due to the fan bodge.

Sorry, and no offence, but that's :censor: . See my other post.

Angus

We're not trying to tarnish your name, just help the current owner of the car to get it fixed. :thumbsup: Although I do find it hard to believe that the car was perfectly OK when you sold it, but went wrong on the new owners first journey. <_<

There is no reason whatsoever to have the fan running constantly. If you had a problem with another car (with a turbo engine) over heating then that is another issue entirely.

The ST182 will never overheat under normal conditions in the UK climate, and certainly doesn't need the fan to run constantly. You say there is no disadvantage, do you know how much current the fan draws? And how much extra strain that will put on the alternator, and how much it will worsen your fuel consumption. The fan was never designed for continuous use either, so you will wear it out prematurely, and then it won't work when you really need it. :rolleyes: Not to mention the loud noise it makes. I would put the relay back in personally.

I know there's no mayo (which indicates a HG fault betwen oil and coolant systems), but it sounds like there's a leak between the exhaust and cooling systems, allowing gas to escape into the coolant. This causes a pressure build-up which is eventually vented, causing the temp needle to drop again for a while until it builds up again. An easy way to check for this is to leave the rad cap off and crank the engine. A fountain of water = HG.

I had no idea the HG makes a seal between the exhaust and water ways! :lol: I guess you mean from the cylinders to the water. ;) The OP never said that the guage fluctuates up and down either (just up). Yes, air bubbles in the coolant would indicate a blown HG.

But, why would the head gasket have blown? The only reason is due to overheating, caused by a faulty cooling system. The 3s-ge does not have a weakness for headgaskets. Don't confuse it with the rev 2 3s-gte (turbo, GT4 engine), which does have an acknowledged HG weakness, probably caused by higher temperatures (it's more likely to overheat). I have never heard of an ST182 that had HG failure, that hadn't been overheated.

Surely it is prudent to elinate the basic potential causes before pointing the finger at a failed HG (which WILL cost in excess of £1500 to rectify at a Toyota dealership). Unfortunately, it is quite possible that the headgasket has blown now that the car has been seriously overheated.

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Hi MikeB,

Thanks for the input, obviously I am bewildered by the tech talk, however as I have not yet called the dealer Angus recommends, and at a cost of £1500 for a HG, maybe never will.

After your knowledgable comments regarding my Celica's overheeatig issue, I'm going to revert to my original plan to check rad for blockages/flush it, and check out the stat, and wter pump, as these checks shall cost relatively nothing and help in the process of elimination.

A BIG thanks once again to all that have contributed to this posting, and I shall be sure to update once I have an answer, so until then, I'm crossing my fingers that I don't have to seel it as a non runner on ebay due to expensive and un-viable repair costs. :wacko:

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do you know how much current the fan draws? And how much extra strain that will put on the alternator, and how much it will worsen your fuel consumption.

Oh, go on then, enlighten me, for I know not. Can't say I've noticed a huge difference myself, in three 182s and a 185.

The fan was never designed for continuous use either, so you will wear it out prematurely, and then it won't work when you really need it.  :rolleyes:  Not to mention the loud noise it makes. I would put the relay back in personally.

Horses/courses, I guess. ;) I wouldn't have expected the fan to get too annoyed at continuous running (haven't worn one out yet ... in fact the very idea was suggested to me by a T Service Manager), and if the noise is loud enough to be a bother, I'd suggest replacing the under-bonnet insulation.

but it sounds like there's a leak between the exhaust and cooling systems,
I had no idea the HG makes a seal between the exhaust and water ways!  :lol: I guess you mean from the cylinders to the water.  ;)

Incorrect deployment of terminology on my part, right enough - I should learn to write web-posts in a scientific manner, I suppose. :yes:

The OP never said that the guage fluctuates up and down either (just up). Yes, air bubbles in the coolant would indicate a blown HG.

I was going by previous intelligence, received just after the OP took possession of the car.

ST182 that had HG failure, that hadn't been overheated.

There was a rash of such things over at TOC! over the summer, funnily enough. Not all were seen through to their conclusion on the board, but left little doubt in anyone's mind as to the cause after all the usual components were eliminated.

Surely it is prudent to elinate the basic potential causes before pointing the finger at a failed HG (which WILL cost  in excess of £1500 to rectify at a Toyota dealership). Unfortunately, it is quite possible that the headgasket has blown now that the car has been seriously overheated.

Of course. I changed the coolant myself only a few months ago, and there's never been Radweld in the system - I also checked the stat at that time (might as well). I suppose it's poss that the car was overheated before I got it, but that would be years ago. I did have to put a new radiator in at some point but can't remember when now. One gets a bit mixed up with what's been done to which car along the way. :)

And if that's the dealer price for a HG job, I'd steer well clear. I've been quoted 5.2 hours (which surely wouldn't include a skim, etc, right enough). Personally, I'd be miffed if I couldn't get it done for around £300 all in.

Angus

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It's all getting a little tense on here :lol:

Mike's right about the fan, it is normally regarded as a bodge to just wire the fan to continuosly run (normally a bodge to hide something as well!)

The normal way to do it properly is to wire in an overide switch along with the the original temp sensor so that if you are stuck in traffic on an unusually hot day you can flick a switch and have it running all the time, but it will still will automatically if you leave it alone.

Running the fan all the time would be annoying and would increase fuel consumption, it would also reduce the service life of a number of components.

Just some friendly advice though for your other motors :thumbsup:

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And the saga continues............

I just want it to be a cheap fix, that's all, I guess there is little point in me cetting the rad,stat, and water pump checked, if indeed Angus has checked them within the last 3 months or so.

Therefore back to the headgasket prognosis, and garage inspection required?!

Thanks again Chaps, fingers crossed, or it's salvage on ebay :(

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just a quick answer to the previous questions on how much current a fan draws:

According to a quick bit of research on google:

A typical car radiator fan draws between 30-35 Amps on Startup, then 8-10 Amps under normal load.

To be honest I'm suprised that running with the fan on 100% that you ever get to charge the Battery!

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do you know how much current the fan draws? And how much extra strain that will put on the alternator, and how much it will worsen your fuel consumption.

Oh, go on then, enlighten me, for I know not. Can't say I've noticed a huge difference myself, in three 182s and a 185.

The fan was never designed for continuous use either, so you will wear it out prematurely, and then it won't work when you really need it.  :rolleyes:  Not to mention the loud noise it makes. I would put the relay back in personally.

Horses/courses, I guess. ;) I wouldn't have expected the fan to get too annoyed at continuous running (haven't worn one out yet ... in fact the very idea was suggested to me by a T Service Manager), and if the noise is loud enough to be a bother, I'd suggest replacing the under-bonnet insulation.

Did he tell you the MTBF for the fan (bearings, brushes etc)? Not that I know it myself.

but it sounds like there's a leak between the exhaust and cooling systems,
I had no idea the HG makes a seal between the exhaust and water ways!  :lol: I guess you mean from the cylinders to the water.  ;)

Incorrect deployment of terminology on my part, right enough - I should learn to write web-posts in a scientific manner, I suppose. :yes:

The OP never said that the guage fluctuates up and down either (just up). Yes, air bubbles in the coolant would indicate a blown HG.

I was going by previous intelligence, received just after the OP took possession of the car.

ST182 that had HG failure, that hadn't been overheated.

There was a rash of such things over at TOC! over the summer, funnily enough. Not all were seen through to their conclusion on the board, but left little doubt in anyone's mind as to the cause after all the usual components were eliminated.

You must have had a lot of bad luck over there then. I don't remember any failed HG reported on here (apart from those caused by overheating). Head gaskets very rarely just fail, think of them like a fuse to protect your engine - they blow before something else is damaged.

Surely it is prudent to elinate the basic potential causes before pointing the finger at a failed HG (which WILL cost  in excess of £1500 to rectify at a Toyota dealership). Unfortunately, it is quite possible that the headgasket has blown now that the car has been seriously overheated.

Of course. I changed the coolant myself only a few months ago, and there's never been Radweld in the system - I also checked the stat at that time (might as well). I suppose it's poss that the car was overheated before I got it, but that would be years ago. I did have to put a new radiator in at some point but can't remember when now. One gets a bit mixed up with what's been done to which car along the way. :)

And if that's the dealer price for a HG job, I'd steer well clear. I've been quoted 5.2 hours (which surely wouldn't include a skim, etc, right enough). Personally, I'd be miffed if I couldn't get it done for around £300 all in.

Angus

So the water pump could still be suspect then? (Or have you checked/replaced that at some stage)?

5.2 hours to change the head gasket? :blink: I was quoted 17 hours by my local toyota dealer (presumably that included a skim and c/head rebuild though). Sorry but it's a least 10 hours work for an experienced mechanic to just replace the gasket. If somewhere has quoted you £300 and includes the 5.2 hours labour then I would bite their hand off (although I would be suspicious that they don't really know what they're quoting for!).

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