Can anyone figure out this mystery?


Asked by g1970 Feb 20, 2013 at 03:42 PM about the Toyota Camry

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2001 Toyota Camry was running hot. The engine coolant was extremely dirty.  The radiator finally cracked when it overheated.  I've replaced the radiator, the hoses, the thermostat,  the engine coolant temp. sensor, fan sensor, and sending unit.  I've flushed the engine out and heater core.  It still runs hot.  I've removed the thermostat because when it idles it runs hotter even faster with it in.  Also when idling the temp gauge shows it overheating but the gauge will not move to the red line.  It's just about three quarters of the way to hot.  I can then rev up the engine to abut 3k rpms for about 8 seconds and the temp guage will move back to the halfway mark which is normal temp.  When driving (with the thermostat out) it starts out fine but after driving up a steep hill the temp gauge moves to hot and then moves back towards the center again after I drive on level streets.  There's no steam or leaks to indicate a blown head gasket or similar problem.  I'm completely baffled by this.  The only thing I can think of is some kind of blockage but I don't know where to go from here.  Can anyone figure out this mystery?

2 Answers


It's possible that your guage may be broken.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

jdeter34, Thanks for the input. I've been fighting this car on and off for three weeks and today I succumbed to professional help. I hope what I discovered will help other people with this problem. It was actually the water pump. It wasn't leaking or making a loud noise. In fact, I had it replaced just about 3 or 4 years ago. As I stated earlier, up until this problem occurred, the coolant was "sinfully" dirty. I had not done my job of maintaining the cooling system by keeping it clean. The water pump impellers had completely corroded away. There's was only one left intact inside the water pump. My auto repair guy showed me and I couldn't believe it. I've never had this happen. This explains the temp decrease when I revved up the engine. It was barely circulating coolant. Did I mention that the heater was also not working at all? It's because the coolant was not circulating through the heater core either. It's around a $500 job because it's pretty involved and I also asked them to replace the timing belt because when you remove the water pump it's right there and there's no sense in having to do that repair later. I hope this info helps others because this has driven me crazy. I could not figure it out. Thank you again for the input.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

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