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overheating second opinion

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Dec 6, 2013, 6:01 PM

Post #1 of 2 (964 views)
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Hello all. I have a 1995 Toyota Camry 2.2L with 206k miles that I use on trips and as a secondary car. I hadn't much driven it since the summer and it down to 8 degrees here the other night. Little did I know my antifreeze had become diluted from me topping it off over the last year with water. So naturally it froze. Freeze plug popped out on the back of the block. No big deal right? I didn't muchfeel like messing with it so i called my local midas and asked if they'd pop a new one in for me. Guy quoted me 30$ so I was fine with that. They pop it in fill it up with coolant and send me on my merry way. Halfway home car starts overheating and pushing coolant into overflow. I shut it down, allow it to cool and limp it the rest of the way home. When I get it home I take the radiator cap off thinking there may be some trapped air in the cooling system. The car burps and burps and burps. When it finally settles I take it around the block-overheats again. It is now that I also realize that I am getting no heat. So I take it back home. The car has more air in the system. I take the thermostat out to eliminate that problem yet it still overheats. I'm thinking I'm suffering from a leaking head gasket that is pushing air into my cooling system. However there is no water in my oil and no oil in my water so I wanted to get a second opinion. Thank you in advance.

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Dec 6, 2013, 6:44 PM

Post #2 of 2 (954 views)
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If you think you have combustion gasses getting into the coolant system, you need to test for them. They make a tool called a block tester that uses a liquid that turns different colors in the presence of combustion gasses. It isn't always that accurate though.

A gas analyzer could be used to detect hydrocarbons in the neck of the radiator while the engine is running. That is an effective way.

You could also use a leak down tester to pressurize the cylinders to see if you get bubbles in the radiator.

Sometimes you won't get coolant in the oil with a blown head gasket if you have a breech in the firing ring between the combustion chamber and a coolant port. You may see coolant sitting down on top of the piston, if you leave a pressure tester on the coolant system over night.

Really don't know the effect of blocks freezing up (living in Florida), but it is possible the block could be cracked at a cylinder wall even though it popped a plug out.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

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