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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier today I was warming my 01’ toyota Celica gts up while I got all the snow and ice off and I noticed that there was smoking coming from the hood so I turned my car off and told my dad. He popped the hood (because I couldn’t find it due to my dash being gutted for my remote start which I’m still having problems with) and we checked while the car was turned on and the smoke coming from the hood smelt like radiator fluid and it was leaking from under my car. Has anyone found a problem to this? I can’t seem to find where the leak is coming from and I really need my Celica for transportation :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
you have to look when cars running where leaks coming from front or back of motor?
I actually looked and didn’t see any leak whatsoever. My engine coolant reservoir was completely empty so I went in my stepmoms car to grab some and put it in til it reached the Full mark and started it back up and it didn’t smoke. But the smoke was coming from the very front of my hood. Where the Toyota emblem is near my radiator fans. I’m guessing that I have a leaking hose somewhere or something that’s causing it to loose coolant but I didn’t see it leak when it was running and putting the coolant in seemed to stop it from smoking for now. But if you have anymore tips or ideas, I’d love to know! Just trying to keep my baby runnin good with the 315k miles she’s got. (My dad bought it from a guy a few years ago and gave it to me 1 year ago)
 

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Greetings,

If you have steam coming from the front of the vehicle when it's running and the coolant tank is empty, then there is a hole somewhere near there where coolant can escape under pressure. If you don't have a radiator pressure test kit you can use to locate the leak then refill the radiator and tank with distilled water an look around for wet spots on or under the radiator or cap, coolant tank, radiator hoses, or the radiator itself. If you don't see an obvious leak start the engine and carefully observe the radiator assembly and hoses as it heats up. The water will start to escape at some point and then you will see the leak. Just keep an eye on the temperature gauge as you do this and don't let the engine overheat while testing.

My best guess from experience is that you have a very small hole or crack in the RADIATOR from road debris which has slowly rusted out and can no longer hold the pressure, which is why is spews steam like a tea kettle when hot.

If you can't find the leak after all of this I would recommend a compression check on the engine to rule out a bad head gasket. But if you haven't had recurring overheating issues I doubt that the head gasket is bad.
 

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Same exact symptoms recently happened on a buddys car and it turned out that his thermostat housing was leaking. Pretty easy to find once the coolant was filled up. Perhaps this is worth checking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Greetings,

If you have steam coming from the front of the vehicle when it's running and the coolant tank is empty, then there is a hole somewhere near there where coolant can escape under pressure. If you don't have a radiator pressure test kit you can use to locate the leak then refill the radiator and tank with distilled water an look around for wet spots on or under the radiator or cap, coolant tank, radiator hoses, or the radiator itself. If you don't see an obvious leak start the engine and carefully observe the radiator assembly and hoses as it heats up. The water will start to escape at some point and then you will see the leak. Just keep an eye on the temperature gauge as you do this and don't let the engine overheat while testing.

My best guess from experience is that you have a very small hole or crack in the RADIATOR from road debris which has slowly rusted out and can no longer hold the pressure, which is why is spews steam like a tea kettle when hot.

If you can't find the leak after all of this I would recommend a compression check on the engine to rule out a bad head gasket. But if you haven't had recurring overheating issues I doubt that the head gasket is bad.
I will definitely check that out. Thank you so much! I’ll definitely get back to you after I do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Same exact symptoms recently happened on a buddys car and it turned out that his thermostat housing was leaking. Pretty easy to find once the coolant was filled up. Perhaps this is worth checking.
Isn’t it hard to reach the thermostat because it’s somewhere near the alternator or somethin like that? I know when me and my dad replaced my alternator we saw the thermostat (I think. I could be wrong) and he was tellin me if I had to replace the thermostat we would have to take the alternator all out just to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No .. there are black plastic tanks on each end of the radiator.. the core is kinda protected by the A/C condenser so while possible, I would guess unlikely. Tanks cracking is common on most cars
Can you send a picture for reference please. And I wonder why the tanks are cracking. Could it be due to cold weather?
 

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If you want to DIY it and you're not having luck finding the source the easiest way imo is to buy a bottle of Engine Coolant UV Dye and a UV Flashlight (total ~$15 USD). Follow the dye's instructions then shine UV light around until you see neon colored dye. Follow the mixing instructions, do it at night or in a dark garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you want to DIY it and you're not having luck finding the source the easiest way imo is to buy a bottle of Engine Coolant UV Dye and a UV Flashlight (total ~$15 USD). Follow the dye's instructions then shine UV light around until you see neon colored dye. Follow the mixing instructions, do it at night or in a dark garage.
I’ll look into that! Thank you!!
 

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Smells like coolant burned on hot engine block.

There could be small leaks from cracks on coolant hoses around the radiator or engine block ect , which will only squirt out steam when engine is up to operating temp.

At night in a dark spot, run engine up to temp then shine a bright beam into the engine bay around the radiator and all coolant hoses. If any leak steam would squirt out and easy to see.

You dont want to run out of coolant and overheat engine. Would ruin the engine. Replacing hoses and radiator is fairly easy. Buy a new OEM radiator, about $100, from DENSO Auto Parts. A car with 300K miles should have a new radiator and all new coolant hoses anyway.

Only a few screw on top of the bumper and a few hoses need to be removed to remove the radiator and 2 cooling fans. pretty easy with small hand tools. You should be able to do it easily.
 
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