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Old 09-22-2022, 11:01 AM #1
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Another coolant loss thread. Advice needed...

Hello everyone. It's been a while since I have posted here. Life has been crazy this past year.

For the past year or so, I have noticed that the coolant level in the overflow reservoir has been going down. I have been topping it off every now and then. I would say maybe a half cup or every 1000 miles or so. It could be more or less as I have really not measured it precisely.

Some background info on the vehicle. The car has 293k miles on it. It is 2008 V6 and I bought it in 2019 with 206k miles. For the first 40 or 50k the coolant never went low. I never had to add any. Around 255k or so, I noticed the coolant going down with no visible leaks. With the help of this forum, I was able to figure out that the radiator was leaking. I replaced that and all was well.

Around 275k or so, I started noticing loss again. The issue still exists but I believe I am loosing more coolant now and I would like to fix it if possible. There are no visible leaks anywhere. The only thing I could find is a tiny crust spot near the thermostat housing. See image below.



Any thoughts on what to check or replace?
Should I pull the spark plugs and check those?
Do I just replace the water pump since I have no information on when it was changed?

I want to do another road trip but am hesitant this time around.
Appreciate the help as always!

Last edited by zguy1; 09-22-2022 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Added year and engine type
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Old 09-22-2022, 02:03 PM #2
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Change the water pump, thermostat, belt and pulleys. If its not been done, do it before the fail.
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Old 09-22-2022, 02:20 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drcoffee View Post
Change the water pump, thermostat, belt and pulleys. If its not been done, do it before the fail.
Thanks. I can't wait for Rock Auto parts so I was able to find a Toyota water pump and ASIN thermostat at Amazon that I could get in 1 day. The Toyota water pump is about $25 cheaper than my local Toyota dealer.

Any recommendation on brand and parts for pulleys?
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Old 09-22-2022, 04:45 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zguy1 View Post
Any recommendation on brand and parts for pulleys?
Gates is usually to go to for those parts. I've been running the Continental belt and pulley kit for a little over a year now with no issues.
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Old 09-22-2022, 05:01 PM #5
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Have you tested oil for presence of coolant?
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Old 09-22-2022, 05:33 PM #6
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What year, V8 or V6?
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Old 09-22-2022, 05:41 PM #7
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Quote:
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What year, V8 or V6?
Its a 2008 with a V6. I just updated the original post as well as I forgot to put that information in it.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:26 PM #8
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Quote:
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Its a 2008 with a V6. I just updated the original post as well as I forgot to put that information in it.
Ok, just wanted to know if it was one of the early model V6s that had head gasket problems from the factory, so since it's not a early model the question by @5thToy is hopefully a mute question..but if the new water pump and thermostat doesn't solve the coolant lost issue then you may want to do some checking into a possible head gasket being bad just to rule it out, i.e. checking the coolant for exhaust gases and as mentioned checking the oil for coolant.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:28 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phatcheeks View Post
Gates is usually to go to for those parts. I've been running the Continental belt and pulley kit for a little over a year now with no issues.
Okay, I will take a look at their pulleys. I already replaced the belt a year ago and I believe I put a Gates one on then.


Quote:
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Have you tested oil for presence of coolant?
I have not done any formal test. But I have not noticed anything obvious. I will be doing an oil change in the next day or so.
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:40 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
Ok, just wanted to know if it was one of the early model V6s that had head gasket problems from the factory, so since it's not a early model the question by @5thToy is hopefully a mute question..but if the new water pump and thermostat doesn't solve the coolant lost issue then you may want to do some checking into a possible head gasket being bad just to rule it out, i.e. checking the coolant for exhaust gases and as mentioned checking the oil for coolant.
Thanks, it occurred to me afterward I should have asked about exhaust gas as well. If If the system isn't leaking, it's either going through combustion cycle or getting in to oil.
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:59 PM #11
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The oem toyota water pumps seem to fail quickly. I prefer Aisin parts
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Old 09-22-2022, 09:13 PM #12
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Just had my timing belt getting done today, friend sent pictures of the old timing belt and water pump just starting to seep. Some was sitting on my belt. 84k -> 183k on the belt 7 years. Rad was leaking as well at the top drivers side.

Oddly though my other runner went 194k on the first belt (bought at 192k) and it was cracking but no leaks from the water pump. Original rad still on that too. 225k now
@Drcoffee indeed the leaky pump was an oem toyota pump.

Edit: just noticed this was for v6 sorry I have 2 V8s

Last edited by TLChip; 09-23-2022 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 09-23-2022, 12:09 PM #13
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Is there a way to avoid losing a lot of coolant when removing the thermostat and water pump housings? I would like to avoid a big mess and also to keep as much of my coolant as possible since it was recently changed.

Last edited by zguy1; 09-23-2022 at 12:10 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:00 PM #14
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Quote:
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Is there a way to avoid losing a lot of coolant when removing the thermostat and water pump housings? I would like to avoid a big mess and also to keep as much of my coolant as possible since it was recently changed.
Yes. There are two drain cocks, one on either side of the block with a 10mm hex head that let you drain the block which is where the residual coolant sits after disconnecting the radiator. Open the radiator cap, and open the block drains.

What I did on mine was duct tape a plastic garbage bag to the engine under the water pump and draped the plastic into a bucket to catch the coolant that spilled out. A bath towel would be handy to wipe up the mess.
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:14 PM #15
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Quote:
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The oem toyota water pumps seem to fail quickly. I prefer Aisin parts
Isnt Aisin the OEM supplier for Toyota? The new Aisin water pump I bought from Rockauto had the Toyota label scratched out.
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