Temp gauge in the red zone after thermostat & 2 sensor changes.


Asked by Jun 28, 2013 at 10:04 AM about the 2001 Toyota Camry CE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2001 Camry. Check engine light came on. Had it checked at Advance Auto. Engine
code P308? / thermostat or coolant issue. There are no leaks of water or antifreeze and
the a/c and heat work great.

Temp gauge was going immediately to medium (3 o'clock position) after starting. When
actually warmed up, went to about the 2 o'clock position.  Replaced 2 thermostat
sensors, disconnected battery to reset the computer and light went out but temp gauge
still went to 3 then 2 o'clock positions.  After 100 miles the engine light popped on
again after each sensor change. Then changed the thermostat 2x (once by me then by
a mechanic - thinking the first  'stat was bad) and although the light went out, the
gauge now went immediately to the 1 o'clock position and after a minute, went into the
red zone.  

What else could it be? The water pump, radiator clog, or faulty temp gauge?

4 Answers


Did you change out thermostat or someone else? Did they put it in backwards? Sounds stupid but my dads buddy had an overheat issue in his rig and the mechanics installed his fan BACKWARDS! The water pump usually leaks or makes noise if it's bad. What you can do for a test is take off the radiator cap when the engine is cold and run the car until you see the fluid circulate through your radiator. That way you at least know if the thermostat is opening. Have you checked your electric fan to make sure it's operating?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I changed the stat, a local mechanic changed it too. He mentioned it could be the water pump or radiator issue, but still not resolved, so I took it to the Toyota dealer. It was a sensor on the bottom of the radiator. $260 --not peanuts, but a lot cheaper than a water pump replacement, which is was not and no more guessing what the codes mean specifically. Thanks for trying!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I hope the $260 was for a whole new radiator. The sensor in the bottom is only a $12 item.....http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=1993+toyota+camry+coolant+temperature+sensor

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Check your engine coolant temperature sensor also an easy way to test your water pump is to find the hose that comes out of the bottom of the radiator and goes into the block place your hand around it and squeeze then have someone start the car and give it a little gas if your water pump is functioning properly you will feel the pressure force your hand open. Also coolant systems are prone to getting air in them and occasionally they have to be bled just like brakes. I had a Honda with an overheating situation and I went through much of the same replaced everything on there and it was still overheating then I found out about the coolant system and the air and once I bleed the cooling system it never overheated again. There should be a bleeder valve somewhere on your coolant system open it up turn the air conditioner on and you should hear air coming out of it and then fluid and then air just like when you believe breaks. The only thing about this process is it can take up to 30 and 45 minutes before you actually get all the air out and you will need to keep adding water to the radiator while you do it

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