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Toyota Camry Overheating – What Could Be Wrong?

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Getting to the bottom of what's making your car have problems can feel impossible sometimes. Do you have a Toyota Camry and don't know what could be causing it to overheat? Well, we've done plenty of research and have the answers waiting here for you. Let's check this out.

The main reasons a Toyota Camry will overheat are usually a coolant leak, an issue with the radiator fan, or a failed thermostat. Luckily, you should be able to spot these issues by checking under your Camry's hood or underneath your vehicle for leaking. However, every car is different, so if you're struggling with regular overheating, you may want to have your Camry checked out by a professional.

As we begin, we will cover all things Toyota Camry and discuss what might be causing it to overheat. Whether your vehicle is brand new or has seen better days, we're here to offer some help. With that said, let's dive deeper into this topic!

Brand new Toyota Camry - Hybrid model 2020 in white colour, Toyota Camry Overheating - What Could Be Wrong?

Why Does My Toyota Camry Keep Overheating?

If you notice your Camry overheat often, this probably means you aren't putting enough coolant in your vehicle. A low coolant level inside your car's engine can lead to overheating and eventually permanent damage, so this is something you want to keep track of.

The thermostat or radiator fan in your Camry may also be to blame for frequent overheating, so we recommend taking your car to the dealership to have a professional inspect it.

Again, you might be able to see coolant dripping out from under your vehicle when it's parked if there is a leak, but it isn't always so easy to tell.

Is Engine Overheating Common?

Although it shouldn't happen regularly, an overheated engine is one of the more common car-related issues. Considering your vehicle's engine is constantly under pressure, dramatic temperature increases or a low level of coolant can send your car into an overheating frenzy.

With that said, if you live somewhere very hot, it's more likely for frequent overheating to happen, which makes checking your coolant level even more important.

What Are The Signs Of An Overheated Car?

Car engine temperature sensor close up arrows

If you suspect your vehicle is overheating, there are some signs to look out for. These typically will include:

  • A hood that is hot to the touch
  • A flashing warning light/symbol on your dashboard
  • Loud ticking noises coming from your car
  • Coolant pooling underneath your vehicle

Your car might also have trouble speeding up if it's overheating, so if you start to notice this while driving, try to find a repair shop/dealership as soon as possible. Driving in an overheated vehicle can lead to unsafe conditions, so we don't recommend pushing your car past its limits.

Is It Safe To Drive A Car That Is Overheating?

No, it's not ever safe to operate an overheating vehicle. As we mentioned, driving in an overheated car can lead to safety problems for you and your vehicle, so try to avoid doing this.

On top of that, driving in your car while it's overheating can lead to permanent engine damage, so the sooner you park your car and turn it off, the better.

Is An Engine Ruined If It Overheats?

Car engine over heat due to no water in radiator and cooling system.

If you continue driving a vehicle that's overheating, you're likely to experience more serious engine problems in the future. Most importantly, frequent overheating can cause a cracked/warped engine block, which can cost $1,000-$3,000 to repair.

On top of that, an overheated engine can lead to oil leaks, loss of performance, and further overheating, so this does tend to have a domino effect. That said, overheating shouldn't ruin your car's engine if you stop using it as soon as it happens, so try to act quickly.

Can An Overheated Engine Be Fixed?

Yes, although there is a chance your engine will become damaged if it overheats, you should be able to repair it. Typically, the radiator in your vehicle will be the first thing to go if it overheats, which will cost around $90 to fix, and between $300-$900 to replace altogether.

That said, replacing an entire engine can cost upwards of $5,000, which can be a significant financial burden if you aren't cautious.

Why Won't My Toyota Camry Start After Overheating?

If your Camry recently overheated and now won't start, this likely means your engine needs a major repair. Overheating can cause a car's engine to crack and warp, which in turn will cause a failure to start due to loss of compression.

That goes for any brand of vehicle, Toyota or not, so if your car doesn't even turn on after overheating, expect a costly repair.

Read more: Toyota Camry Not Starting: What to Do?

Can Low Oil Cause A Car To Overheat?

Yes, low oil can also cause a car to overheat. Although this happening isn't as common as not having enough coolant in your engine, low oil will also create high temperatures inside your car's engine, ultimately causing it to overheat.

This can happen even when a vehicle's coolant levels are normal, so try to keep a close eye on the oil in your car as well.

How Do I Know If My Water Pump Is Bad?

Auto repair shop, car service. Car engine set for a great service, water pump, timing belt and timing belt spaner

Although it can be tricky to tell if your car's water pump is bad, there are some signs to look out for. These will often include:

  • Frequent engine overheating
  • Coolant leaking from your car
  • Water pump corrosion
  • Loud whining noises

Coolant pooling underneath your vehicle is one of the easier symptoms of a bad water pump to spot, so it's always a good idea to check under your car if you think something's wrong.

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Engine Thermostat?

Fortunately, diagnosing a bad engine thermostat isn't difficult. A few top signs of a bad thermostat include:

  • An overheating engine
  • Dramatic temperature fluctuations
  • Steam coming from your engine
  • Rising temperatures/a full expansion tank

One thing to note is that a failing or bad thermostat will often have an odd-looking temperature reading, so if yours is showing either a dramatically hot super cold engine, you probably need to replace it.

Is The Toyota Camry A Reliable Car?

Overall, yes, the Toyota Camry is a reliable car. According to Repair Pal, the Camry has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of a possible 5.0, so that's impressive.

On top of that, they mention that a Toyota Camry won't need repairs as frequently as other vehicles in its class, which means fewer trips to the dealership for you. Again, that's not to say your Camry won't ever overheat or need an engine service, but it shouldn't be something that regularly occurs.

How Long Do Toyota Camry Engines Last?

Brown Toyota Camry car moving on the street. Editoria

Typically, you can expect the engine in a Toyota Camry to last around 200,000 miles. Of course, this is assuming you take good care of your vehicle and maintain its oil and coolant level accordingly, so this can vary.

Estimating you drive a Camry 15,000 miles per year, you should be able to have it between 15 and 20 years on average, so this is a great long-term option.

Again, the lifespan of a car, regardless of brand, will depend on how well you maintain it, so don't forget to schedule routine services and repair your vehicle as soon as you notice any issues.

Read more: What Kind Of Engine Does a Toyota Camry Have?

Does The Toyota Camry Have Frequent Engine Problems?

No, it isn't very common for a Camry to experience issues with its engine. This vehicle tends to be reliable and relatively low maintenance which explains its popularity among drivers.

That said, the three most frequent complaints about the Camry's engine include smoke pouring out from the tailpipe, weak acceleration, and general performance issues, so that is something to think about.

To Wrap It Up

Whether you've dealt with an overheated vehicle before or this is your first time, it's essential to know what caused it to happen. A Toyota Camry will overheat if it has a coolant leak, an issue with the radiator fan, or a failed thermostat.

Your Camry may also overheat if it doesn't have enough oil, so it's important to check the oil level regularly. Your car might even overheat because the weather outside is too warm, so this isn't always something you can prevent.

Regardless, remember to check under your car for pooling coolant, and don't forget to turn off your vehicle and let it settle if it starts to overheat.