Main IndexAuto Repair Home Search Posts SEARCH
POSTS
Who's Online WHO'S
ONLINE
Log in LOG
IN









Search Auto Parts

Camry temp gauge bouncing


First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All Email This Post



Italgrl
User

Mar 31, 2014, 12:18 PM

Post #1 of 30 (3421 views)
Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

2003 Toyota Camry. Car drives great, but has had a white puff of smoke upon start up for about for 2 years.

The other day, the temp gauge started bouncing around. Block did not feel hot. Topped off the coolant and it was fine for a few days. Now it's doing it again.

What could it be?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 31, 2014, 12:50 PM

Post #2 of 30 (3411 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Sounds like you've been nursing a coolant leak that gets into combustion chamber. Usually a head gasket problem especially since you needed to add coolant at all and those symptoms.


Start checks for a head gasket issue. You might find if you look at the plugs one or more look a lot different than the others perhaps a bit cleaner looking or wet with coolant a little.


Temp fluctuating and stopped that when topped up seems like you have a chance that it didn't do horrific harm more than a likely head gasket job and heads checked.


Don't wait now as it will only make it worse,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 31, 2014, 12:55 PM

Post #3 of 30 (3405 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

The first step is a cooling system pressure test to determine if you have any leaks.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 8:56 AM

Post #4 of 30 (3384 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

I am going to do the pressure test today.

So far I have discovered that the entire reservoir of coolant is empty after driving it home. I smelled coolant in the car briefly when driving although there is no damp spot on the floorboards. I had the A/C on (did not use the heater). The check engine light was on.

The car did not overheat during the drive and the block did not feel overly hot. The radiator is full. There is a small coolant drip under the car when sitting that is not near the radiator nor the reservoir. The motor oil is not milky.


(This post was edited by Italgrl on Apr 1, 2014, 9:05 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 9:45 AM

Post #5 of 30 (3376 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Find the leak. If seen on the floor you can find it. Inside odor might and sure can be from burning off OUTSIDE of the engine but look up where heater core would be for any evidence as it would smell with just a few drops before the tell-tale wet floor. A drain for A/C water may show some but only if leaking there - not as common. Perhaps hoses going to heater. Check everywhere. Now it should show itself more clearly and fast with a pressure tester.


JUST DO NOT LET IT OVERHEAT!


T



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 10:52 AM

Post #6 of 30 (3369 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Help!

I borrowed the pressure test kit, but cannot find the correct PSI to pump it up to for my car.

2003 Camry 4 cylinder. Is it 16 psi?

Also, test kit has adapters to test radiator and coolant bottle (reservoir?) - which to test? Or both?


(This post was edited by Italgrl on Apr 1, 2014, 10:56 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 11:04 AM

Post #7 of 30 (3362 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

If pressure cap is on radiator it says the pressure or should. Either way do NOT exceed ~15 Lbs AND do not run engine with most pressure gauges could way exceed safe pressures.


Do NOT test a NON pressure recovery tank/reservoir. Some have only a pressure and fill cap on a remote tank some don't and don't make me guess exactly which ones do or don't. Look. If cap to the remote tank just flips up by hand it just a no pressure tank - don't push it with those but look for leaks there and hose to it.


You'll find it, Tom



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 11:10 AM

Post #8 of 30 (3357 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Only number on radiator cap 108kPa

Sticker in front of radiator reads
HFC134a
max 0.60 kg (1.32lbs)
min 0.50 kg (1.10lbs)

That's it. Should I pressure to 15 psi?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 11:11 AM

Post #9 of 30 (3356 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Sorry for two post in case you just read the one before. Decent pressure tester will also test the pressure cap. Do so. It's rare but it should let go at the listed pressure. I really don't think many exceed 16 Lbs aka PSI. If one could go way over it would blow out somewhere, IMO the water pump seals would let go and might not recover if forced over pressured,


T



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 11:23 AM

Post #10 of 30 (3352 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Worried I'm not going to test right (or even damage the car) because I don't know the exact pressure to test to. What I wrote in the earlier post is the only thing on the cap other than the words "Do Not Open When Hot"

The cap is OEM and came w/ the car.


Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 11:37 AM

Post #11 of 30 (3347 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

My radiator cap says 108 kPa

found this online - sound right?

Converting pressure units from Kilopascal to Psi
108 Kilopascal (kPa) = 15.66408 Psi (Psi)

Kilopascal
The kilopascal (symbol:kPa) is a non-SI unit for pressure, and is a x1000 multiple of the Pascal unit. 1 kPa equals 1000 Pa. It is not one of the most used pressure units, which is mostly used for describing sub-atmospheric air pressures and low differential air pressures found in building ventilation systems.

Psi
Psi is the abbreviation of pound per square inch, and is widely used in British and American. 1 psi = 6,894.76 Pascals.




Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 11:38 AM

Post #12 of 30 (3346 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Couldn't find pic from the top. Like this basically........

Most require a push then turn or unscrew and list pressure. A lot may say "Do Not Open Hot" and don't as liquid under pressure can quickly blow out is why and so much defaults to warnings labels could be on both?


My look ups can be wrong but did say 16 PSI cap. If leaking it should leak below that. Start lower to be on safe side.


Hints for finding if not obvious: Trail of coolant usually from topmost or most forward. Use dental type or any mirror to look at hard to see places. Hoses you can run a finger under at connections and along the route and should be dry.


If too slow for you coolant doesn't dry fast so should show or evidence left behind.


When in doubt with tools and pressure testing in this case if worried ask as you are. You certainly don't need to add to any problems nor does anyone, Tom



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 11:43 AM

Post #13 of 30 (3338 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

That's exactly what it looks like. I think I'm ready to test.

Thanks for all your help.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 11:51 AM

Post #14 of 30 (3336 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Anything up to 18PSI would be safe.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 12:13 PM

Post #15 of 30 (3332 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

I pumped it up to 15 PSi (playing it safe) and looked for leaks. NOTHING. Not one damp spot anywhere under the hood. Even the spot under the car (size of golf ball) is no bigger and no wetter than it was at 9 am this morning.

The pressure dropped from 15psi to 13psi in the 20 minutes I was inspecting for leaks.

Seems like the coolant only disappears while driving.

What now?


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 12:21 PM

Post #16 of 30 (3323 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Leave the pressure on it and you will find it. You may need the car in the air to look from below.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 12:24 PM

Post #17 of 30 (3322 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Hmmm? No leaks found - OK. 1st I'd try leaving it on longer as some will expand hoses and lose some pressure but stop.


WARNING: Loss of just 2 PSI isn't so scary but if this leaks into a cylinder instead of externally you do risk what's called hydraulic lock if one is full of coolant out of sight. Since you said it can puff white out tail pipe that is now possible and you should if more testing with pressure take plugs OUT before cranking engine noting any wet plugs and if one has coolant it would spurt out spark plug hole instead of damage to engine possible. THAT'S REAL IF LOCKED! Some might just crank a bit and stop short some would break something - don't add that to the problem - trust me.


You could also try to turn engine by the bolt on crankshaft by hand for a locked engine and don't know what tools you have but plugs shouldn't be too hard to remove, just make sure they go back with wires on correct plugs if run later. Mark them if needed and you do that.


Just a note that I'm here a lot or someone is and may not be fast to reply to questions. I do need to be offline for a little while now and do something productive like grocery shoppingWink


Back later unless computer explodes and that's happened too.......... Tom



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 12:38 PM

Post #18 of 30 (3315 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

I laid under the car and touched everything with a white towel. Especially directly above the spot on driveway. Nothing.

I'll try again.

I always thought mechanics did not require sleep or food. LOL


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 1:27 PM

Post #19 of 30 (3313 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Yep, and they all think we have magic tools that tell us exactly what is wrong and crystal balls when that doesn't work.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 2:26 PM

Post #20 of 30 (3309 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Back! Found the company crystal ball too........



So nothing showed - ick for now. Can you pull the plugs with what you have? Do so just because but that problem really can't leak to ground.


Not sure but some may only leak while running or part warm or outright intermittent and some of those magically can leak without making an area wet. Keep at it. It's using coolant and coming from somewhere.


BTW - Source doesn't have to be above where you find the drip on ground. It might just squirt there from somewhere else completely?



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 3:04 PM

Post #21 of 30 (3303 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Did the pressure test again. Pumped it up to 17 psi

Now, two hours later it's at 2 psi and there is not a single damp spot anywhere under hood. I've run my hand and towel over every component and nada. Nothing on the driveway either.

There are 2 spots from before. One came after the car was driven and one after it was pushed 5 feet in my drive(significant?). Since then nothing.

Any of this spark an aha moment or idea?

I'll check the spark plugs next.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 3:17 PM

Post #22 of 30 (3302 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

The leak is there. You just aren't finding it Many are very difficult to find. Letting the pressure drop to 2 pounds just defeats the purpose of putting it under pressure in the first place. You need to get it under pressure and keep it under pressure. I don't think you are going to find it with the car on the ground. I often have to use mirrors and a bright flashlight and look around every corner for past stains.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Italgrl
User

Apr 1, 2014, 3:24 PM

Post #23 of 30 (3300 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

O.K., I did not realize that I was to keep pumping up and keep it pressurized. It falls about 2 lbs in 10 minutes. I thought falling pressure was an indicator of the problem along with finding coolant somewhere on the engine or components. Obviously, I did not understand the test very well.

I'm doing it for the third time and putting a white sheet under the engine while I do it.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 3:27 PM

Post #24 of 30 (3299 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

You have the right idea. It does indicate a leak but it needs to be kept under pressure longer so the leak can get large enough to find. Make sure the system is full so it's not pushing out air instead of coolant.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 1, 2014, 10:43 PM

Post #25 of 30 (3290 views)
Re: Camry temp gauge bouncing Sign In

Was away again. Hammer is right that it's just being elusive and probably pushing air out. When if that fast it probably has to be air or a huge puddle.


Sometimes plain spray bottle with plain dish soap it will foam up for you or make bubbles. Keep at it. Places you might miss are radiator end tanks or core or if in between the radiator and A/C's (radiator, AKA condenser) might have to take a cover off up top for a good look.
If quiet enough and air you might even hear it? Your leak down time is pretty fast not to find this just bad luck or tough spot.


IDK, if it continues to be hiding on you carefully fill again not spilling anything and just run around the block (short run) turning both ways to shift coolant to the leaking area might help?


Tom







First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All Email This Post
 
 


Feed Button




Search for (options) Privacy Sitemap