Doesn't sound like it ran hot enough or long enough to crack or warp the head. If there is a crack, the engine will continue to overheat. If a warped head, car would probably run rough, the affected cylinders would likely have little or no compression, there would be a noticeable miss, and overheating would continue.
Why the low coolant? It's a sealed system, so should never have to add coolant, other than a small loss from evaporation in the overflow tank. Monitor the level closely for the next few days. Note the level in the overflow tank to see if it drops over time. Leaks can be external anywhere in the coolant system-engine, radiator, hoses, heater core- or internal in the engine-head gasket failures can cause coolant in the cylinders (white smoke out the exhaust), or coolant in the oil (oil will have a milky brown look to it), or oil in the coolant (will see traces of oil in the radiator).
A couple of tests may be called for. A pressure test of the coolant system will check if the system holds pressure as it should-about 15 psi. If pressure does not hold, there is a leak somewhere. Water pumps usually leak through the weep hole when they fail. A radiator leak would show up when pressure is applied. If pressure does hold, check if you have a good radiator cap-the cap is what seals the system so pressure will maintain. Coolant under pressure raises it's boiling point by about 10 degrees, so is critical to keep the system under pressure.
If you suspect further problems-losing coolant or continued overheating-then have the chemical test done to check for exhaust gasses in the coolant. Basically a check if the head gasket is good, a simple test done at the radiator cap opening with a special fluid that changes color if hydrocarbons are present in the cooling system.
Or you could have a compression test of the cylinders to check the internal mechanical condition-not only tells you if head gasket is good, also tells you a lot about engine condition-even,. balanced, good compression in all cylinders translates into good power output-rings are good, valves are sealing good, all systems go.
The cooling system: water pump, thermostat, radiator, hoses, heater core and hoses, radiator cap, overflow tank, and the cooling fans and associated wiring. Make sure everything is working right and you'll be good to go.
Sep 17, 2013 |
1994 Toyota Camry