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1987 Toyota Corolla Overheating

by hartbm17, February 13, 2006 in Pre-1997 Toyota Corolla and Geo Prizm

Hello all: just wanted to get some ideas. I have a 1987 toyota corolla was running fine until I had the radiator flushed. for about the first 100 miles she was running cool. then she started running hot. I noticed that the overflow is wet. I have had the oil changed there was no antifreeze in the oil and I there is no white smoke coming out of the back or water from the tail pipe. Which lead me away from the head gasket being bad. I replaced the head on the car about 60,000 miles ago when I had the engine built the car runs perfect just wondering what thoughts you had. Friday I am bring it to a radiator specialist he thinks they may have not flushed the car correctly.. I have also replaced the thermistate in the last week to rule that out and the water pump is working fine.. I have found that the overflow is wet since i have had it flushed


Depends on how it was flushed - plain water or chemical flush? Did they backflush the system, did they remove the thermostat (common here - some remove it and forget to put it back in or put it in backwards)? Did they make sure to run the air bubbles out (make radiator fill neck the high point of cooling system, run the car a little while with the heater controls set to hot, etc.).

From your description - overflow is wet - sounds like an air bubble needs to be worked out. Another likely case - flushing the system caused corrosion and other debris to come loose and clogged the thermostat or some of the radiator fins. That is why they recommend NOT to flush the cooling system unless there are signs of heavy deposits or cooling system corrosion. Those cases, the engine is back flushed with the thremostat removed and the radiator and heater core pulled off to be cleaned separately.

thanks for the info.. I am going to a radiator specialist I know on friday.. Thank god I have another car. 2004 Corolla LE. I love my corolla's just can't let the 87 go.. she is to good of car.. those cars were made out of gold..



Sounds as though the thermostat is not working correctly. You could also have a collapsed or clogged hose that is undetectable by looking at it. Check all components of the cooling system and verify that nothing is blocking the fluid. Make sure you have the proper type and quantity of antifreeze and distilled water. I always shake the car a little when I top of my coolant to try and get air bubbles out of the radiator. I also run it until it is warmed up to make sure the thermostat opens. Then I recheck the fluid level after it has cooled down to insure it is full to the proper amount. Hope this helps.

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