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Fluid sound in dash

I have a 2003 Toyota Camry and have a fluid like sound which seems to come from behind my dashboard. I took it in to a well known shop and they said it was a bad (ill fitting) cap on the radiator. Apparently air was getting into the system becasue of the cap not fitting correctly. They replaced the cap and for a year it was fine. Now a year later the sound is back. It is heard pretty good when I start the car in the morning, accelerating after coming to a complete stop ( say like at a stop sign), or when the mood strikes it I guess. I took it to another shop but same franchise, and they could hear a lot of nothing. Of course that would happen and the car didn’t make any more sounds for the rest of the day. The next day it came back and now I don’t know what to do. PLEASE HELP!!

It is very possible that the condensate drain for the A/C is clogged and that you are hearing trapped water from the A/C sloshing around. Clearing the drain with compressed air is a quick and easy job once the car is put on a lift.

Just for future reference, try to find an independent mechanic in your area who has a good reputation, and use him rather than the “franchise” that you have been using. Places like Pep Boys, Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, AAMCO, and other chains rarely have good mechanics, and the mechanics they have almost always work on commission–i.e., the more parts they replace (needed or not), the more money they make.

An indy mechanic is more likely to give you a fair price and good quality diagnostic and repair work.

An air pocket in the engine cooling system is another possibility. I suggest removing the radiator cap (when the engine is COLD) and looking to make sure the radiator is completely full.

Checking the overflow reservior is not sufficient. The radiator itself must be completely full.

I, too, recommend independent local mechanics rather than national chain franchises.

  • A/C drain clogged
  • Drain for the area under the grill in front of the windscreen clogged
  • Heater core, air in the system

I’m going to assume that when they changed the cap a year ago they burped the system and topped off the coolant. It’s possible that you’re slowly losing fluid until air eventually gets drawn back into the system. That should not be happening, but it changes the nature of the problem diagnositcally.

Do you routinely check your coolant level?

no, i believe it has only been done 3 times; i’ve been told it isn’t necessary to do that on a regular basis.