2011 camry losing coolant

toyota
camry

#1

losing coolant, about a quart every few days. replaced a hose and water pump. noticed leakage around the radiator cap, so replaced the cap. still losing coolant tho!! any thoughts?


#2

Based on the amount that you are losing, I would suspect a breached head gasket. While that type of problem is not common with an engine that is only 6 years old, it isn’t impossible, and because that situation can result in major engine problems, I would suggest that you have your mechanic check for a breached head gasket a.s.a.p.


#3

There shouldn’t be any leakage at the cap unless the plastic overflow bottle is completely full. Make sure the coolant level in the bottle is at or a little below the mark on the plastic bottle when the engine is cold. A leak of aquart every few days would normally show up as a significant puddle under the car the next morning. Are you seeing that? Put a clean piece of cardboard under the car as a test after your last drive of the day, see what it looks like the next AM. If you do have a puddle forming, there are florescent dyes that can put into the coolant to help find where it is coming out, with a UV lamp. I had a small coolant leak on my Corolla, a small puddle formed, about a tablespoon, under the car the next AM. I spent 3 hours looking at all the hoses from under the car in every direction, running the engine up to temperature, tilting the car towards the right, then the left, could never spot a single drop of coolant … lol … the next morning, a tbsp appears under the car … I put some white vinyl flooring under the car so I could determine if it was dripping.

If it isn’t leaking onto the ground, it is either going into the oil, the transmission fluid, or coming out the tailpipe as white smoke. No white smoke out the tailpipe, especially during accelerations? Then check the oil and transmission fluid level asap.


#4

Thanks! the overflow bottle has not been completely full and the other fluids don’t seem to be affected. I will follow up to check for puddling. If I bring it into Toyota, do you think they will be able to find it?

avi


#5

You don’t have to bring the vehicle to the dealer.

Take it to an independent shop, and they’ll connect a cooling system pressure tester to locate the leak.

Tester


#6

Yes, they could figure it out. Coolant leaks are a common problem, shops see it all the time. Most any inde shop could solve it. I’d use an inde shop for this problem myself if I had that problem. But if you always have good experience at your dealership shop, no worries, just go there. They will start with a visual check, then if they can’t see anything, likely move on to the pressure test as posted above. Suggest to aid the shop, determine beforehand if there are any leak puddles appearing, and if there is any sign of white smoke coming out the tailpipe, especially during rapid acceleration. You might need to recruit someone to follow you in another car. Check for white smoke out the tailpipe after the engine has warmed up, as some white smoke is normal when the engine is cold.


#7

OK – thanks! will do.


#8

Thank you!


#9

Thanks! Another person added that there is a chance of a head gasket problem — do you concur that that could be a worry?


#10

You would have to badly overheat the engine to damage the head gasket(s). Have the cooling system inspected for leaks and repaired as to prevent such damage.


#11

good — thanks!


#12

It’s certainly possible. But seems unlikely on a 2011 Camry tho, unless as mentioned above the engine has ever overheated at some point. Still, head gaskets can infrequently fail for other reasons. The shop inspection idea above is a good one. Head gasket problems can not be visually observed in most instances, but shops have tests to check for that problem.

edit: fyi, the engine is constructed sort of like a layer cake, with the cylinder head on top, and the engine block at the bottom. The two pieces are bolted together really tight, and to prevent any leaks between the two there’s a gasket that fits in between, sort of like where the frosting goes.


#13

thanks again!