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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4538
Experience:  30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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I have a 2004 Toyota Camry SLE with a little over 178,000

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Toyota Camry SLE with a little over 178,000 miles on it. My temperature gauge has always stayed at mid point and I do not have a leak in the overflow container. A couple of weeks ago I started out on a trip of about 75 miles but as soon as I got started I noticed my gauge quickly rising towards overheating. I pulled over, waited a while and then filled my overflow container with coolant that was diluted. My gauge stayed at mid point as if everything was all well. Within the last couple of days I noticed the gauge trying to move up toward the overheating again a few times. I turned of the fan and rolled the window down. That helped. Today when I was almost home the gauge was rising again. When I pulled in my driveway I opened the hood and noticed that the coolant was spitting out of the top of the overflow container lid until it was empty. I do not know very much about cars. What should I be looking at to fix? The thermostat?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 4 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. Anytime that the temp gauge move upward into the Hot area, that is cause for concern. In your case, based on your statement that the coolant is spitting out of the overflow, you do have a bonafide overheat condition, most likely due to a malfunctioning engine coolant thermostat. If I were you, I would take this car to the closest service facility you can find and have them change the thermostat for you. (Allowing an overheat condition to go unabated can and will cost a lot of money if you wait.) Please tell them to use ONLY a genuine Toyota replacement thermostat, and ensure that they do this. Non-Toyota thermostats do not have a special air-elimination valve built into them. This small valve is critical to proper coolant flow right after the unit is replaced. Also, please tell them to install new Toyota coolant, not some coolant off the parts store shelf. You want thsi done right so you will not have more problems.

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