2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

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Petros
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by Petros » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:13 pm

a rebuild kit is not exactly low cost either, they inlcude a lot of those torque to yeild bolts, as well as gaskets. If it needs a rebuild anyway, than getting a good engine and swapping it out is faster and usually cheaper than rebuilding it. You might look into getting an imported crate engine, those are supposed to be low miles, and are cheaper than a rebuild.
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by irowiki » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:51 pm

It is funny, we can drive around town for an hour and it is fine, but the moment we hop on the highway and go above 50 mph it overheats!
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Petros
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by Petros » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:57 pm

that usually means it has limited cooling capacity. does the temp drop if you turn on the heater?

or does the higher loading you think suddenly consume more coolent until it gets too low and than overheats?
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by irowiki » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:49 pm

The main problem is the radiator is unable to suck coolant back in from the overflow, eventually it runs low. I think it's because of the exhaust bubbles not letting it form the correct vacuum?

Turning on the heater helps, for a time, then it starts overheating again.

There's no thermostat in right now, which I think helps with driving around town. Even short highway spells can be enough to trigger it now!

I think the radiator is somewhat suspect, it might have been plugged with stop leak, and perhaps a new radiator would help. Still leaning towards finding a decent engine out of a totalled car, but for now, this car serves as a good around town and backup car for the wife to go to store/doctor etc.
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Petros
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by Petros » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:40 pm

stop leak will not affect the performance of a radiator, who ever tells you it does does not understand how it works (most new car manufacturers include some kind of stop leak in the coolant so they do not have to chase pin hole leaks in new cars).

if coolant goes into the overflow tank and does not go back in the rad when it cools, that means the cap is bad. that valve in the cap is an important component of the cooling system: it regulates system pressure (without a pressurized system it will cause coolant to boil off and overheat), and when the coolant expands when it heats up, it puts it into the overflow reservoir, and than when it cools it should allow it to go back into the system.

If fact all of your troubles may be related to the cap. If the cap is good, strong spring pressure, rubber gasket present and pliable, and it properly fits the radiator inlet (sometimes a similar but wrong type will fit and look okay, so verify it fit correctly), than it might be something else. but a new cap is a cheap thing to test by swapping it out.
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by irowiki » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:33 pm

I forgot to mention that I've already tried 3 caps including an OEM cap and none of them helped :(
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by rer233 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:41 pm

Had a similar problem with my brother's '96 Camry a while back- car wouldn't suck the coolant back out of the overflow tank when the engine cooled. Tried pressure- testing the cooling system, replaced radiator cap- no change. Was ready to pull the head when he realized he never had the problem 'till he replaced the overflow tank with an A/M unit. We disconnected the overflow hose from the radiator, connected a long piece of fuel hose to to the rad. nipple and stuck the other end in the overflow tank- problem solved! Seems the cap on the "new" tank had a hole in it somewhere and didn't allow the coolant to siphon back to the radiator. You change your overflow tank recently??

Good luck- hope this helps.
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by irowiki » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:03 pm

Interesting, I'm not sure if this overflow bottle was ever replaced the cap on the bottle is fine but there is a vent so unless it's supposed to have some sort of vent not let air get back into it

I'll look into this
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by Petros » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:06 pm

the overflow reservoir has to have a vent or cooling system pressure will blow the cap off of it.

if the head gasket is compromised, or a leak anywhere in the cooling system, it will not be able to pull the coolant back into the system from the overflow reservoir. when the system cools it creates a vacuum, which causes it to pull coolant back into the system through the inner valve on the cap. If the system is compromised it can not create a vacuum, so it will not be able to draw the coolant back in from the reservoir.

this also means your system will not reach operation pressure, allowing the coolant that is in it to boil off faster.

If all of your cooling system componets are in good operational condition, than likely you have a bad head gasket, or some other leak within the engine.

you might rent or borrow one of the cooling system pressure testers from a Autozone or NAPA store. you pump up the system pressure and see how long it will hold it. If it bleeds off, there is a leak, likely from a gasket. You can also use it to find the source of the leak, but if it is not external, it is inside the engine. you can pull spark plugs and listen inside each cylinder using a flexible tube as a stethoscope.

this way you know for sure what is wrong, and you can make a more informed decision about replacing the engine.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

keith
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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by keith » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:46 pm

Some overflow bottles have a hose in the cap that hangs down to the bottom of the bottle. Most of the newer ones have a tube molded into the bottle that comes to the lowest point on the bottle. The later ones will sometimes get a clog in the tube right at the bottom so they can't draw coolant back into the engine. The clog usually acts like a one way valve, letting coolant into the bottle from the radiator but not allowing it to go back. It won't take long to check.

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Re: 2001 Camry 5SFE random overheating

Post by marlinh » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:20 am

It may also be possible to have the pipe in the overflow bottle connected to the wrong port preventing coolant from being drawn back into the radiator.

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