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Another '93 That Overheats


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I have a 1993 ES300 and it overheated (puked out the overflow tube) earlier this week and again this morning. The car has almost 174,000 trouble-free miles, until now. I replaced both radiator caps and yesterday I ran the car for 45 minutes in the garage with no overheating problems; I just added a bit of antifreeze through the top cap and made sure the air bubbles were worked out (which it has some). The upper radiator hose became firm and both radiator caps warmed up so I figured the fluid was flowing. The Temp Gage never went past the 3rd mark.

I drove this morning 25 miles into town to run some errands. I kept it running the entire time...so it ran about 1-1/2 hours. It did not overheat whatsoever. B) The gage indicated just past the 2nd mark. I thought yabahooba, just the radiator caps! Then as I pulled into our home the Temp Gage shot straight up to H. We live up on a hill, no more than a 1/4 mile up a fairly steep grade. :cries: It again went out the overflow tube and it was bubbling slightly; all in a 1/4 mile! I quickly looked under the hood before shutting it off and the fan was running hard too, so the hydraulic motor/pump should be okay.

The radiator is a couple years old, the antifreeze looks good, the oil was recently changed (by myself) and it looks very clean, so I don't think it can be a head gasket. Maybe it is. Or can it be the water pump since the entire drive this morning was down the driveway and flat except for going back up the driveway? The car starts up and still accelerates hard and smooth. The engine idles smoothly too.

How difficult is it to replace the water pump? I suppose it would also be a good time to change the timing belt too. Any help is appreciate so thanks in advance!

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Overheating under heavy pull suggests head gasket (more likely than) or a cracked something. I had a similar symptom in my '94 (different v6). Turned out the breach was on bank one, back side of the engine and never saw water dripping when it was still. Would just run out of water from time to time and overheat. I'd watch the sucker closely and kept topping off the resevoir but every so often, it would overheat. And then I couldn't tell if it was originally a bad gasket, or just the overheating episodes did the damage.

I assume a new theromostat too?

LL

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Thanks LL,

I haven't tried a new thermostat yet. I spoke with a couple of mechanics and they indicated that it could very well be a blown head gasket. One suggested a dye-test kit to see if the antifreeze would change color in the presence of combustion gas.

They both said it will be about $1,500 to replace the headgaskets. :censored:

This car may be done...I don't know. My wife isn't very happy, she loves this car. :cries:

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I'm just finishing up head gasket replacement job, started out as knock sensors but kept getting bigger. Took 4-5 months. If I wasn't so cheap, I'd have sprung for the $1500. OTOH, I've learned a lot while doing it both in terms of knowledge as well as skill (how to pull out broken bolts, tap f-ked threads), not to mention new tools.

You might want to get a few estimates from non dealership shops, obviously less expensive. Good luck!

LL

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  • 5 weeks later...

Welcome to the '93 es300 needs head gaskets club!!!

I've got a '93 es300, and it showed the exact same symptoms.

Exact!

You have two options, here.

1. Trade the car.

2. Have the car fixed, or do it yourself.

Me?? I paid my local shop to repair my es300. (I've got a bad back and can't do the work, anymore.)

Total bill was a over $3,300.00!!!!

If memory serves me, I had about 105,000 miles on the car, when the head gaskets went bad.

Head gaskets, water pump, thermostat, timing belt, spark plugs, oil, filter, radiator caps (x2).

Before the head gaskets were replaced, I replaced both upper and lower O2 (oxygen) sensors. (The service engine soon light came on.)

Water kills O2 sensors. I didn't realize this until after all 4 had been replaced, for $125.00 each!!!

The repair shop did send me some photos of the old head gaskets and engine. The gaskets were TOAST.

I now have over 135,000 miles on this car, and it drives/handles/runs like a new one!!

I have a 1993 ES300 and it overheated (puked out the overflow tube) earlier this week and again this morning. The car has almost 174,000 trouble-free miles, until now. I replaced both radiator caps and yesterday I ran the car for 45 minutes in the garage with no overheating problems; I just added a bit of antifreeze through the top cap and made sure the air bubbles were worked out (which it has some). The upper radiator hose became firm and both radiator caps warmed up so I figured the fluid was flowing. The Temp Gage never went past the 3rd mark.

I drove this morning 25 miles into town to run some errands. I kept it running the entire time...so it ran about 1-1/2 hours. It did not overheat whatsoever. B) The gage indicated just past the 2nd mark. I thought yabahooba, just the radiator caps! Then as I pulled into our home the Temp Gage shot straight up to H. We live up on a hill, no more than a 1/4 mile up a fairly steep grade. :cries: It again went out the overflow tube and it was bubbling slightly; all in a 1/4 mile! I quickly looked under the hood before shutting it off and the fan was running hard too, so the hydraulic motor/pump should be okay.

The radiator is a couple years old, the antifreeze looks good, the oil was recently changed (by myself) and it looks very clean, so I don't think it can be a head gasket. Maybe it is. Or can it be the water pump since the entire drive this morning was down the driveway and flat except for going back up the driveway? The car starts up and still accelerates hard and smooth. The engine idles smoothly too.

How difficult is it to replace the water pump? I suppose it would also be a good time to change the timing belt too. Any help is appreciate so thanks in advance!

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