Toyota engine dumping coolant

Hi, I have a 91 Toyota pick up with a 22RE engine. Lately it has been idling very high during the warm up. It actually goes about 40 miles an hour idling! What does that?

Also it has started to do something even worse. Yesterday while I was warming it up it dumped a lot of its coolant on the ground and over heated. Ok, I know that warps these aluminum heads but I can’t figure this out. After I cooled it back down (by throwing buckets of water at the raditor) and filled the radiator with coolant, there were no bubbles coming through in the cap opening, just a surging presure. Then it just stayed normal temperature and idle.Has anybody seen or knows what causes these behaviors?



Where did the coolant eject itself from? Rad or coolant reservoir?

I can’t say for sure but the Idle Air Control system may have a fault concerning the high idle.

I suspect the thermostat is sticking.

Your engine is likely idling high since your coolant is so low the temperature sensor is not registering.

Throwing water at a radiator is a sure fire way of cracking one. Replace the radiator cap and thermostat as a start.

It was an emergency remedy. It is freezing here and all the watering hoses frozen so I couldn’t use one. I was trying to get the radiator cool enough to open it safely. I’m replacing the thermostat. The high idle could be one of the electronic doohickys on the inlet side. I need to know which one to buy. Thanks for your response!

The dumping of coolant out of the overflow tube during warmup is sure one that I don’t understand. That and the high idle makes it “self destruct mode”.

Did the SES or CEL come on when all this happened? There may be codes stored.

I don’t know what those are. To be honest I was driving away in a snow storm and I noticed the temp all the way up so I got out fearing another warped head and cooled it down manualy. Albeit maybe to fast. It just idles way too high when it’s warming up and it dumps its coolant out the overflow at the same time sometimes. I don’t know why.

To tell you the truth – and don’t get mad at me for saying this – if you’re spraying cold water on a radiator to cool it off and calling your coolant sensor a “doohickey”, I think it’s time you took this to a mechanic.

And yes, I know how condescending that sounds. But there was absolutely zero reason to hose down your radiator. Just turn the car off and let it cool off for 30 minutes. Nothing awful would have happened. But now that you’ve sprayed a bunch of cold water and probably got a lot of that on an overheated aluminum block or head, I can’t estimate from here how much damage you may have caused.

End of rant.

Get to a mechanic. Have them consider the IAC valve and the thermostat, and probably the water temp sensor as well.

And good luck.

And DO NOT spray cold water on your hot engine compartment ever again.

Ok, it is time for me to post a blanket appology for the unkind and totally myopic act of throwing buckets of water in the troubled face of my auto which has so fathfully carried me and my junk many thousands of miles as could be compared to the astronomic distance from the Earth to the Moon. And I did ask for your honest thoughts on this so I’ll take the rap.
I hereby promise never again to in the heat of crisis attempt to cool an inflamed and overheated engine with a bucket of water or any other conveyance of the life giving liquid. I also hereby pleadge that so far as I can control that my children and their children shall never assult an introubled conveyance with the disymillarity of liquid fareinhight as I did during a snow storm to days past.

End of appology.

I’m taking it to a good mechanic. I just needed to tell him where to look. And I didn’t know about the electronic hookup on this that could be so informative (myself being an old “anlog mechanic” from the “suffering six” w/mechanical point ignition era) so I’m finding someone to do that first.

Thanks for all your help!

The water pump on my '89 22R engine hemmoraged just like that. And at about the same age.

Thermal shocking the radiator and/or engine is not good. But my suggestion is to first find the cause of the coolant dump, correct that, then start by pressure testing the cooling system and checking to see if the engine is running normally. If not, post back with the symptoms.


The coolant dumping when overheating may be due to a leaking head gasket.

If so, further driving will cause a great deal of damage.

Have a coolant pressure test and a cylinder leak-down test performed to find out.