Im having several problems with the cooling system in my corolla. First, It always runs cold when I am on the freeway, but in the city it stays in the normal temp range.
Also, I had the radiator replaced recently, what is the sensor that mounts to the bottom of the radiator do, and is it critical? My guess is to the fan (which never worked anyway)
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Re: 1990 Corolla Cooling system problems
Your temp gauge reads low on the highway, and one-half in the city?
You need to replace the thermostat. It is sticking open.
Driving at highway speeds, the blast of air that the car is cutting through enters the radiator, thusly cooling it, and the coolant inside the radiator... In town, with the lesser amount of air being forced into the radiator, (slower speeds), the coolant temperature rises. Replace the thermostat, and you will be OK.
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You've figured out by now the blinking light means the system has a problem. You'll need to find out if the system is low on freon or if a relay or electrical part is failing. The cooling fan could also be failing to come on, which would make the high side pressure exceed the limit and shut down the system.
Follow the lower radiator hose to the engine. Most Toyota's along this year model have the thermostat located in the engine, where the lower radiator hose connects to the engine. Changing the thermostat is pretty straight forward. Refilling is a little trickier. Search the top of the engine and find the bleeder screw for the cooling system. Open this bleeder screw, usually a 10mm, or 12mm socket will fit, and fill the cooling system with the recommended coolant. Pay attention to your mixing ratio as well.