Temperature Gauge Troubleshooting

Asked by Feb 20, 2014 at 08:44 AM about the 2001 Toyota Camry CE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I've got a 2001 Toyota Camry with over 244,000 miles and still going strong. While
driving to work today, sitting in heavy traffic, I noticed my temperature gauge sneaking
up towards the 2 o'clock position. I got off the next exit and drove the back roads to
work and it seemed to settle back to 3 o'clock with only a couple of times when I'd sit
at a light or start to go after the light changed would it sneak up again before settling
back down. I take good care of this vehicle, the last time I had the coolant exchanged
was back in 9/2012 at 220,000 miles. I'm at work now and will let it cool down and look
at it at lunch. I've not noticed any coolant in the snow recently (I park on a gravel spot
that's been covered in snow for awhile) that would make me believe it's leaking
somewhere. I have noticed this cold winter that it's taken a little longer than usual for
the heater to kick in while warming up my vehicle. I thought it was just me but could
this be a clue?

I'm not sure how to go about troubleshooting the problem. I know it could be a
thermostat, a leaky hose (which again, I don't think it is), or another thermostat sensor
in the radiator. I've never had to replace the radiator itself.

Any thoughts/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

6 Answers

37,485

Change out your thermostat. Cheap part and easy to do. Most likely the problem since it's affecting your heat.

Thanks for your answer. I did purchase the thermostat along with coolant and when I checked under the hood the coolant reservoir was empty. I filled that up and have been checking every day since and all seems well. The reservoir emptied about half way since and the temperature hasn't gone above the half-way point, while the heat is working as expected. Looks like it was simply my coolant level was too low. I will keep an eye on it because I'm not quite sure why I'm losing coolant. I'm not seeing anything in any parking spaces so it doesn't look like I'm losing it that way. Thanks again.

20

I've got an '01 Camry as well, and had a somewhat similar situation recently. Mine was traced to a hairline crack at the top of the radiator, in the plastic section. When the car would get hot, and the radiator would pressurize, the fluid would dribble through the crack and evaporate gradually. The leak was not dramatic enough for the coolant to pool beneath the car and become obvious. Eventually, I replaced the radiator and the coolant level has held steady. I would advise a thorough inspection of the plastic radiator cap, both at the front AND rear, as mine cracked in both places.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have the same problem. Brand new radiator and thermostat. Any ideas?

tbmitche, that's what turned out to be my problem. I replaced the radiator and it's been fine ever since. I've now got over 293,000 miles on it and still going.

37,485

Rasecx, buy a block tester kit. Very easy to use. It will let you know if your head gasket is going. That is a possibility if your coolant is disappearing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY2w2QvwAVo

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Camry

Looking for a Used Camry in your area?

CarGurus has 89,151 nationwide Camry listings starting at $950.

ZIP:

Search Toyota Camry Questions

Toyota Camry Experts

#1 Reelin68
Reelin68
Reputation 12,080
#2 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 4,250
#3 tenspeed
tenspeed
Reputation 2,920
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Accord
717 Great Deals out of 87,014 listings starting at $1,250
Used Toyota Corolla
664 Great Deals out of 71,486 listings starting at $600
Used Honda Civic
492 Great Deals out of 87,973 listings starting at $1,499
Used Nissan Altima
846 Great Deals out of 78,726 listings starting at $1,677
Used Toyota Avalon
184 Great Deals out of 13,625 listings starting at $1,450
Used Toyota RAV4
591 Great Deals out of 69,049 listings starting at $2,350
Used Hyundai Sonata
611 Great Deals out of 51,472 listings starting at $1,495
Used Toyota Highlander
333 Great Deals out of 25,397 listings starting at $2,900
Used Nissan Maxima
277 Great Deals out of 26,228 listings starting at $1,990
Used Honda CR-V
768 Great Deals out of 58,582 listings starting at $900
Used Toyota Prius
162 Great Deals out of 17,232 listings starting at $1,771
Used Chevrolet Malibu
826 Great Deals out of 81,054 listings starting at $995
Used Toyota 4Runner
253 Great Deals out of 20,378 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota Tacoma
500 Great Deals out of 38,896 listings starting at $2,900

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Toyota Camry For Sale
36 Great Deals out of 52,691 listings starting at $15,994
2016 Toyota Camry For Sale
109 Great Deals out of 6,482 listings starting at $12,500
2015 Toyota Camry For Sale
104 Great Deals out of 5,398 listings starting at $10,999
2014 Toyota Camry For Sale
181 Great Deals out of 7,869 listings starting at $8,495