I have a 2002 Toyota celica that is overheating badly. We have replaced the water pump, water hose, radiator, thermostat and head gasket. Still the car continues to overheat. The water in the pump still remains cold and my heating system only blows cold air. What else could be causing my car to overheat?

Asked by Apr 01, 2013 at 05:20 AM about the 2002 Toyota Celica GT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

We have owned the car for a year.
Has 137,000 miles on it. Was in a
minor fender bender which cracked
the radiator.

22 Answers


Sounds like you have an air pocket in the cooling system. Did the thermostat you put in have a jiggle pin in it and if it did was it put in with the pin up? Have you tried to "burp" the cooling system?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

When I give it gas while driving it makes a ticking sound. Not super loud but definitely noticeable. It didn't do this before I had everything replaced

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

We bled out the water pump and hoses and it let out quit a bit of air. The car was thirsty immediately after and started frantically circulating water. But now it doesn't circulate at all.

Run your heater full blast while purging the air ... tennisshoes suggested the right thing to do. But now it does not circulate? It's remotely possible the thermostat was bad right out of the box..it happens..rare but happens

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

and you replaced the radiator..OK..but new or refurbished? Not used? If you put in a used one without having it flushed first, it may be clogged

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

The radiator was used and we had a mechanic friend put it in for us. This could be the problem. I will ask him in the morning if he flushed it or not.

My worry is that maybe the motor is shot. A friend told me that most celica motors have to be replaced every 5000 miles which I didn't do cuz I didn't know. Could be false but I'm not sure.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

There you go. I have a feeling that may be it. and I don't mean flushed by running a water hose through it, acid bath by a radiator shop

Thank you everyone for your advice also. I am not sure what else to do with this car. 2 mechanics I have taken it to are running out of ideas and towing the car is becoming expensive. :)

Your friend is mistaken. that is ridiculous to suggest an engine needs to be replace every 5,000 miles. I AM sure. Your 2002 Toyota will take you 200,000 and beyond with proper care

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

That's a releif to know!

Think about it Emily. If there was a car on the market that had to have an engine every 5,000 miles, would anybody buy one? Certainly not. I have a Toyota and it is the most reliable car I have ever owned. It has 55,000 miles and that is just getting broken in.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I found it hard to believe but I don't know much about cars. I was thinking I was the idiot that bought it and couldn't afford to keep replacing it.


The ticking noise could be just a valve adjuster just slightly loose, when you did the head gasket they may have not ran the valve adjustment completely. But nail down that overheat problem first or you will blow another head gasket or worse.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Emily Guzman

I will double check the valves today also along with all your other wonderful suggestions. Hopefully we can have our car back in functioning order without digging too much deeper into our pockets:) thank you so much guys.

Andrew Olsen

You said water stays cool. Other than your dash saying so has it been verified that its acutally overheating?

Emily Guzman

Yes. It's starts smoking if driven for more than 5 mins.

Emily Guzman

The car is with a mechanic but he doesn't know what the problem is either. I don't want to keep towing the poor car around any longer. So any more suggestions would be great.

Andrew Olsen

I would take the thermostat out and run it to see if the problem persists. Burp the system, lift the front of the vehicle while burping it.


Maybe they put the wrong headgasket on it.

Emily Guzman

Sure enough ther read air in the water hoses. And the head gasket blew out again. But it's on the mend


Make sure that they recheck that head for warping, if it got hot enough to blow another headgasket it may have warped the head. If it did warp I'm sure there is enough metal left for another milling even if they need a head shim to put it back together. Hope you got some good and useful info here at car gurus. Let us know how it turn out.

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