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2004 Toyota 4Runner Question: is it my head gasket and if so should I just replace the engine

 

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ashjeff25, 4.0L V6, Kailua Kona, HI, May 28, 2014, 06:23
 Rookie

my runner has 179000 and about 2 months ago the stability control lights and check engine came on but since it drove and handled perfectly fine I didn't pay it any mind. Starting about three weeks ago I noticed that about once a week I needed to add coolant to the radiator but the overflow was always full. Two days ago it started misfiring and the check engine light blinks. The overflow reservior smells like exhaust and water coming out of the tailpipe yet the oil is fine. Also the misfiring so bad I refuse to drive it anywhere!

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  • Answer #1

    Greg's Orange Auto (13269 Answers) , Orange, CA - (714) 361-9386
    globalhelper May 28, 2014, 06:40
     Master

    having the cooling system chemically ck'd for exhaust gases by a mech,also a compression test should indicate headgasket issue

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    ashjeff25, May 28, 2014, 07:16
     Rookie

    I'm trying to diagnose it without having to tow it to a repair shop as I don't have the money right now to fix it

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    U_Got_Yours, June 11, 2014, 06:03
     Rookie

    what did you end up doing? in the same boat ashjeff25, my 4runner w/ 206K mi just broke down & it appears to be the head gaskets,usually will do the timing chains as well since most of the cost is the labor. debating if we should just replace the engine on a car with 206K mi or buy a used car. really dont want a car payment! if the engine will get me another couple years then i might do that.
    mechanics out there, thoughts?

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    ashjeff25, June 11, 2014, 07:20
     Rookie

    ok first I will apologize for the long post but I'v done a lot of things to try to make my truck better. Got the codes read which showed misfire of first cylinder then also a general random misfire. I should say that I live in Hawaii and the police here use their own vehicles (which means that they are very well maintained since the county pays for it) I bought mine from a cop so all I did regarding this was change the plugs, also cleaned the MAF sensor and replaced the air filter. Completely stopped the misfiring and I've been driving it enough that the codes would come back if it wasn't fixed. Still losing coolant at this point so I decide to try thermostat, change that and flush coolant, doesn't smell like exhaust anymore but still not right so I bypass heater core (don't need heat in hawaii) runs almost great now, come outside to check it and would't you know my tranny leaking outta the gasket just changed that and the fluid. Thats perfect now but after everything still losing coolant. I just don't know where it's going and now it's like a personal vendetta or something I am f***ing committed to finding myself. (Very stupid I know) There are no bubbles like what you would see from head gasket, no water in oil, no water in tranny fluid, no milkshake anywhere!!! No codes have come back but I damn well know it isn't running right. Temp gauge goes to middle and no farther yet have to add coolant everytime it cools down and it's way more than normal. almost seems to be under too much pressure. I'm not a mechanic by any means I just love my truck and don't trust/want to pay anybody for doing a shoddy job or fixing something that's not broke. I'm at a loss as the hoses are all good and to the temp they should be at. Seems to me like the engine temp is hotter than its really reading but according to the truck it's fine. If anybody else can figure this out I'd be grateful. I'm frustrated but also kinda happy that I at least got it from being non-driveable to at least cruising. You'd be amazed at how the seemingly smallest issue can make this truck run like shit....another example of fucking expensive sensors not helping the common good. Sadly enough seems like this vehicle runs on them:(

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