Toyota Cressida Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your Toyota Cressida

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Toyota Cressida Problems

Overheating and Sweet Smell Around Engine

The 1988-1992 Toyota Cressida is known to leak engine coolant and overheat due to a leaky heater control valve. Drivers will notice a decrease in heater performance, and increase in engine temperature. 

The purpose of this valve is to control the amount of heat that enters the cabin of the vehicle. If this valve has failed, it is recommended to use the OEM part for replacement.

Please note, the engine in the Cressida is prone to head gasket failure, so it is imperative that any coolant issues are addressed immediately to avoid costly repairs.

Engine Stalling or Running Roughly with White Smoke from Exhaust

The 1988-1992 Toyota Cressida used an asbestos type head gasket which commonly fails. Symptoms of a blown head gasket include:

-Start and stall, or no start condition

-Rough idle if the engine starts

-White smoke from exhaust

-Loss of power

-Milky, white oil on dipstick 

If you experience these symptoms, do not attempt to restart the vehicle, and have the problem addressed immediately. 

The solution is to replace the head gasket with an updated metal head gasket, and flush the engine and coolant systems of contaminants. 

Loss of Power and Check Engine Light

The 1988-1992 Toyota Cressida may lose power, fuel economy, and possibly have black smoke from the tail pipe due to a known issue with the knock sensor and/or knock sensor wiring harness. 

The knock sensor is mounted to the engine, and detects knocking and pinging conditions which may harm the engine. When the knock sensor malfunctions, engine performance is decreased and fuel consumption is increased causing 'rich' running conditions. The check engine light is associated with OBD Trouble Code 52.

There are two common fixes for this issue: Inspect/repair sensor wiring harness, and test/replace knock sensor.

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