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1996 Es300


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So my engine has been overheating like mad lately. The first I saw of the problem was a little over a week ago, and I was driving around in a parking lot and saw the temp gauge sittting at about 3/4ths, which is considerably higher than I've ever seen it, and it was rising steadily. I was a couple of minutes from my house at most, and so I decided to get it home and see what was up. When I got to my driveway, it had just about red-lined on temperature and when I stopped the car, there was white smoke/steam leaking out of the hood. Popped the hood, more smoke. Also, coolant was spraying out of the tube on the reservoir cap, though the reservoir was still about half-full.

I let it cool down, flushed the radiator and such, and then my parents had it taken to the shop the next morning. They said it was a problem with the radiator and coolant system and so they replaced the radiator, both hoses, the cap, and the thermostat, checked for leaks and such and sent it back with brand new anti-freeze and whatnot. That was a few days ago.

This morning, I was driving around and my car overheated just about the same. Got back home, popped the hood. This time, the coolant reservoir was just 100% empty, and the hose at the front of the radiator was disconnected entirely, which I assume was a mistake on the part of the shop—they didn't tighten it enough or something? That seemed like it was probably the problem, so I reattached it securely, flushed out the radiator and replaced the coolant myself, both in the reservoir and in the radiator.

This afternoon, however, the exact same thing happened about 5 minutes from my house. I stopped my car at some parking lot to let it cool down so I could get it back home at least. I refilled coolant yet again, for the second time today, and by the time I got home, empty and close to red-line once more.

Essentially, if my engine is completely cold when I start it, I can get about 12 minutes of driving with the temperature gauge sitting at 50%, and then over the next 3 or so minutes it completely maxes out, which is pretty really distressing.

Any ideas on what the problem is if it's not the brand new coolant system?

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could it be a cracked engine block?

Is the fluid milky? Possibly mixing with the oil?

I don't think it's a cracked engine block. With that much coolant leaked out or sipped into the engine by now, your car would be running real rough now. I suspect a coolant leak somewhere.

why don't you just turn the car on and let it idle and watch? Just let it idle and watch for the next 20 - 30 min. the car is consider hot when the radiator fans are running. The leak will eventually start when the car is hot enough. That's probably the best way to isolate the leak. I suspect the water pump is leaking, unless the mechanic forgot to tighten up some connections.

Let us know.

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could it be a cracked engine block?

Is the fluid milky? Possibly mixing with the oil?

I don't think it's a cracked engine block. With that much coolant leaked out or sipped into the engine by now, your car would be running real rough now. I suspect a coolant leak somewhere.

why don't you just turn the car on and let it idle and watch? Just let it idle and watch for the next 20 - 30 min. the car is consider hot when the radiator fans are running. The leak will eventually start when the car is hot enough. That's probably the best way to isolate the leak. I suspect the water pump is leaking, unless the mechanic forgot to tighten up some connections.

Let us know.

Headgasket ?

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Headgasket ?

Again, the answer is NO. If the headgasket is cracked, coolant would have sipped into the block and mixed with the oil. This car is having a heating problem for quite of a while. A lot of coolant would have mixed with the oil by now if the block or headgasket is cracked. At this point, the car would not be drivable or engine running real rough. However, he can drive this car for 12 minutes from cold to normal temperature.

Possible leaks:

1. Water pump

2. Heater hoses behind the engine

3. Heater core and/or heater valve. He may or may not smell the coolant inside the car by now.

Just turn the car on and let it idle and watch. A puddle of coolant will be on the floor. If you have a pressure test kit, try a pressure test.

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