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#4578989 - 11/19/17 01:48 PM Engine runs on the cool side?
Crowder1980 Offline


Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Ohio-Pennsylvania
Long term lurker , first time poster. Howdy everybody, I have an old Toyota Camry with a 2.2 4cylinder engine , the entire car has been nothing short of phenomenal , going into another upper Midwest winter I've noticed it takes a really long time for the coolant temp needle to sit where it has for 10 years. If I drive around town stop and go it takes even longer, it seems most noticeable under 45 degrees F apx. This car has always seemed to run really cool even in 100 degree weather to where you can almost ready your hand on the exhaust manifold after summer driving with the a/c on, it has almost 200,000 miles and I've used Valvoline 5/w30 almost the entire 10 years I've had it....I'd assume the check engine light would have come on if there were a problem, am I just being paranoid?!

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#4578999 - 11/19/17 01:56 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 969
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
Sounds like the thermostat is stuck open. Also, never touch the manifold while the car is running, theres no doubt in my mind that that will reach 400 degrees in no time.


Edited by Audios (11/19/17 01:56 PM)
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#4579013 - 11/19/17 02:05 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
thunderfog Offline


Registered: 03/12/14
Posts: 451
Loc: Eleanor, West Virginia
My 2016 4Runner is the same way in terms of warming up to full coolant temp in colder weather. Usually takes about 3-5 miles/5-7 minutes or so.

Pretty sure every comment going forward will be to not worry... you've got 200k on it doing what it's doing, so don't sweat it.
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#4579021 - 11/19/17 02:14 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
Crowder1980 Offline


Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Ohio-Pennsylvania
Thanks for the responses, this car asks for so little and has aged so slowly that I'm pretty in tune to how it runs, just out of curiosity can the engine computer pick up a bad thermostat? Thanks again!
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2001 Camry

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#4579028 - 11/19/17 02:18 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
hemitom Offline


Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 889
Loc: canada
Thermostat most likely stuck, or low on coolant.
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#4579032 - 11/19/17 02:20 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
bdcardinal Offline


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11088
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted By: Crowder1980
Thanks for the responses, this car asks for so little and has aged so slowly that I'm pretty in tune to how it runs, just out of curiosity can the engine computer pick up a bad thermostat? Thanks again!


Yes there will be a code for the engine not reaching operating temp.
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#4579033 - 11/19/17 02:20 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
rollinpete Offline


Registered: 03/20/17
Posts: 501
Loc: West Ma.
I"d replace the thermostat, why drive around in a cold car?
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97 Ford Expl.Sport 4.0 ohv 4wd 5spddrive183k miles
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I like my oil (slippery).


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#4579051 - 11/19/17 02:33 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
Crowder1980 Offline


Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Ohio-Pennsylvania
I did have the radiator fluid changed, but that was like 2 years ago. Where I'm positive it was green they replaced with red fluid. (Same color as the attached fluid), but that was because the radiator hose dry cracked and leaked a lot out. It was done at a Toyota dealer , trying to find the receipt because I'm almost positive they replaced the thermostat, but like I said this was like 2 years ago.
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2001 Camry

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#4579059 - 11/19/17 02:48 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7297
Loc: Marshfield , MA
Quick and cheap is to block the radiator with a piece of cardboard. Running cool wastes fuel. That can lead to cat trouble. The trouble with thermostats is that they all fail eventually. Buy one that can only fail open as the present one seems to have done. The quality in t'stats is iffy. I would research before replacing. Before doing anything, check the coolant level just for grins.


Edited by andyd (11/19/17 02:50 PM)
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#4579062 - 11/19/17 02:51 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
maxdustington Online   content


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 899
Loc: Toronna
If you can view the temp with a scan tool that would be ideal. When my car had thermostat that was stuck open, it would usually sit at 72 Celsius during city commutes when the thermostat was supposed to open at 88C. You should be able to find what temperature your stock thermostat should open at in order to compare.
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#4579064 - 11/19/17 02:51 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
Color of coolant doesn't mean much, anyone can get any dye added to it. It's possible that the new tstat could be bad again, new ones don't last as long as OEM ones a lot of times. The CEL would come on if it takes long enough to warm up, does it still get up to temp?
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#4579072 - 11/19/17 03:02 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
TinyVoices Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 494
Loc: Vienna, VA
I have owned several of these engines and have one now in my mr2. Stuck thermostats are not uncommon and I'd start there. It's a pretty simple repair.
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1993 Toyota MR2 Hardtop N/A - 157k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Fiancee) - 126k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30

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#4579076 - 11/19/17 03:04 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
Crowder1980 Offline


Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 11
Loc: Ohio-Pennsylvania
It does get up to Temp as long as it's above like 2,000 RPM and 40 mph or so. Sitting at a stop light is when the needle seems to sit lower, it really isn't that cold, 45F or so, I seem to remember it doing this last winter but 90% of my driving was 70mph 5 minutes after starting the car, where as now I'm almost strictly stop and go. Turning the heater fan on high definitely drops the needle slightly. The fluid in the radiator is sitting where it always has, and no sign of leakage or odor. Cash strapped right now but I'm going to keep an eye on it.
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2001 Camry

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#4579080 - 11/19/17 03:08 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
TinyVoices Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 494
Loc: Vienna, VA
Sounds like thermostat. I'd start there.
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1993 Toyota MR2 Hardtop N/A - 157k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Fiancee) - 126k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30

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#4579087 - 11/19/17 03:13 PM Re: Engine runs on the cool side? [Re: Crowder1980]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32776
Loc: ME
The dealer most likely would not have done the thermostat when you went in for an emergency repair of a burst hose. Regardless it's broken now, eh?

Don't buy cheap.

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