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Toyota Camry Overheat/Radiator/Radiator Fan Problem

Your Toyota Camry overheated while climbing a steep hill, while idling in traffic, or while driving on the highway. Now what? Continuing to drive when your vehicle is running hot can cause significant damage to the engine, so the first thing you will want to do is pull over right away and allow the engine to cool.

Checking radiator cooling system

If your Camry’s engine has overheated, this is most likely directly related to problems with the vehicle’s cooling system or the radiator fan. Other issues associated with an engine that is overheating include a radiator fan that is not working, a radiator fan that doesn’t turn off, or a coolant leak. Keep reading to learn more about why your Toyota Camry may be overheating.

What Causes a Toyota Camry to Overheat

Female car trouble hood up

There are some common causes that you should know about if your Camry is overheating. The most common causes of an engine overheating are:

  • Low coolant levels
  • Leaking coolant
  • Broken thermostat
  • Broken radiator fan
  • Faulty water pump
  • Damaged or clogged hoses

If your Toyota Camry is overheating, then you should check your engine for any of these problems. By resolving one or more of these potential problems, your Toyota Camry should stop overheating.

Toyota Camry Is Overheating

Radiator check cooling system

Signs that your Camry is overheating can include:

  • Temperature gauge in the red
  • Check engine light coming on
  • Steam or vapor coming from the hood
  • Hood is hot to the touch
  • Coolant puddling under the vehicle
  • Smell of burning rubber, oil, or plastic
  • Hissing, ticking, or thumping noises
  • Lack of engine power
  • A/C not working

If you are experiencing any of these problems with your Camry, it’s likely that the vehicle is overheating. It is recommended that you turn off the engine for at least 30 minutes before starting the vehicle again, and that you take the car to a mechanic.

Toyota Camry Keeps Overheating

Car mechanic working on engine

If you’re having ongoing problems with your vehicle overheating, the underlying issue could be a leak in the radiator. You might also notice that the radiator fan stays on and won’t turn off, or the radiator fan isn’t working at all.

Described below are some of the common problems related to your Camry’s radiator when the vehicle is overheating.

Toyota Camry Radiator Leak

The radiators used in Toyota Camrys are made primarily of plastic, and can crack over time. A radiator that is leaking coolant through cracks or holes can lead to an overheating engine. If you see green liquid pooling underneath your vehicle, this is a likely sign that your vehicle is leaking coolant, and could eventually lead to an overheated engine.

If your engine overheats and a radiator leak is the culprit, a radiator “stop leak” product can be used to get you back on the road until you can visit your mechanic and replace the radiator entirely.

These products are generally not recommended to be used long term, but can be used temporarily in emergencies to minimize damage to your engine. “Stop leak” products work by filling in and sealing any holes or cracks in the cooling system.

The best long-term solution for a leaking radiator is to replace the part. The cost to replace the radiator in a Toyota Camry is typically around $550-$600 for both parts and labor.

Toyota Camry Radiator Fans Not Working

While the coolant running through the radiator is the primary means of cooling your engine while driving, your Camry’s radiator fan works to circulate air and keep the engine cool when the vehicle is idling. If the fan stays on and won’t turn off or isn’t working at all, this may be a sign that you have a problem with the vehicle’s cooling fan relay system.

The relay fan can stop working for several reasons:

  • The fan’s motor may have failed
  • You may have blown a fuse
  • You might have a bad fusible link

Fusible links, which are links to your vehicle’s electrical system, often fail in the event of a short. Your mechanic will probably be able to replace the fuse or fusible link inexpensively, but if the motor has failed, the entire relay fan will likely need to be replaced.

The total cost for parts and labor to replace the fan will generally run around $150-$200. Again, if the fan is not working, it’s critical to make this repair quickly to avoid overheating and permanently damaging your Camry’s engine.

Toyota Camry Radiator Fan Stays On

Your Camry’s cooling fan is designed to come on when the engine reaches high temperatures. Your vehicle will sense when the engine temperature climbs and the radiator fan will turn on to keep the engine cool. If the fan is running all the time, and won’t shut off, you’ll know that you have a problem with the fan.

It’s not common that your Camry’s radiator fan won’t shut off at all, but if this occurs, it’s probably because of an electrical short in the relay. This causes the power to continue flowing to the fan and is a sign that you need to replace the relay in your vehicle.

Toyota Camry Overheated, Now Won’t Start

Car mechanic checking engine

If your Camry overheats, you should wait until the engine has time to cool before trying to start the vehicle again. If you try to start the car right away, you can cause further damage to your engine or to the cooling system.

Wait at least 30 minutes for the engine to cool down, and then try to start the vehicle. If the car still will not start, the engine may be damaged, and you’re likely facing at least one of the following problems:

  • Coolant leak
  • Low or old coolant
  • Broken or damaged thermostat
  • Low oil levels
  • Damaged belts or hoses
  • Cracked head gaskets or valve cover gaskets
  • Broken water pump
  • Broken radiator fan
  • Clogged heater core

Sometimes several of the above problems can be related, so it’s important to identify and address the underlying cause of your vehicle overheating. For example, a cracked gasket can contaminate the coolant; old coolant can result in a clog; or a clogged radiator can result in a leak.

Toyota Camry Overheating Idle

Male working on car engine

Idling in stop-and-go traffic is commonly associated with an overheated engine. There are a few simple causes of overheating related to idling that are easily fixed, while others will necessitate a more significant repair or part replacement.

Below are some common problems related to a vehicle overheating while idling:

Low Coolant Level: If your Camry is simply low on coolant, wait until the engine is cool and then refill the reservoir. It’s important to wait until the engine cools down to prevent damage to the engine. Once you’ve refilled the coolant reservoir, check for leaks.

Contaminated Coolant: Over time, water, air, or other particles can build up in your Camry’s coolant, leading to overheating if left unchecked. This is an easy fix, as long as the coolant is not being contaminated due to oil leaking from a gasket or because of corrosion in the radiator.

Low Coolant Level: If your Camry is simply low on coolant, wait until the engine is cool and then refill the reservoir. It’s important to wait until the engine cools down to prevent damage to the engine. Once you’ve refilled the coolant reservoir, check for leaks.

Contaminated Coolant: Over time, water, air, or other particles can build up in your Camry’s coolant, leading to overheating if left unchecked. This is an easy fix, as long as the coolant is not being contaminated due to oil leaking from a gasket or because of corrosion in the radiator.

The copyright owner of this article is Knowmyauto.com and was first published on Jun 14, 2021..

If you’re experiencing any of the above problems, your Camry may need a repair. Take the vehicle to a qualified mechanic to determine the source of the problem.

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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on Jun 14, 2021 and last updated on .

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