CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Squeal, smoke, coolant bubbling over... Oh my!

This moring my 85 Toyota Landcruiser was running fine. I drove my daughter the 10 blocks or so to her school, turned off the engine, walked her to school, yadda yadda… Well, when I got back to my car I turned it on, and there was a LOUD squeal (I would think coming from a belt) accompanied by a lot of burnt rubber smelling smoke. I smoked and squealed all the way home. Once I got here, I turned the car off for a while to cool the engine, then an hour later, I went back out to start it up. Still squealed a bit, but no smoke (still a funny smell though.) The squealing stopped when the engine got warm. Turned it off again. Engine cooled for a while, then went to go pick up daughter from school. No squeal, no smoke, ran fine… until I got home. The squeal started up lightly, and this time when I turned off the engine, I heard the sound of coolant bubbling over, and looked under the hood. The resevoir tank was bubbling over and coolant steam was escaping from radiator. What is going on here? Thermostat? Water Pump? Faulty Belt? A combination thereof? Something much more sinister?

The engine water pump is driven by a fan belt. I think the water pump froze. Here are pictures of the water pump, belt, etc: http://www.autozone.com/shopping/repairGuide.htm?pageId=0900c1528004d3ba

Do you always drive around with a squealing vehicle without opening the hood to investigate? This could lead to disaster.

I think your water pump is shot, and no longer turning, which is causing the drive belt to slip, squeal, and burn.

If you continue to drive like this you will ruin the engine. Have your Land Crusher towed to a mechanic for repair before it gets any worse.

Was there an irritating red light that came ON on the dash? Overheat warning?

Nope. Temperature gauge stayed steady at it’s normal operating temperature.

I would not try to drive it until the problem is identified and repaired. Something on that belt is damaged. Driving the car that way could damage additional expensive parts, like the engine.