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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had my 2012 Crewmax looked over by the dealership before I took it on a long vacation. Had them check out everything, even wanted the serpintine belt replaced but they said it looked brand new.

So we head out on 7/1 to what ended up being a 6,250 mile road trip leaving Tennessee and stopping off in Oklahoma City, then Albuquerque, Sedona Arizona, Vegas and final destination being San Francisco before returning back home by way of Salt Lake City, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri then home to Tennessee.

Everything was fine as we made our way to San Francisco (travelling in areas where temps were 100+ degrees and very mountainous).

Woke up Monday 7/11 and left San Francisco when my Tundra check engine light and trac control light both came on about 45 mins north (vallejo, CA). I looked at my gauges for coolant and the needle was on the "C" for cold which I new couldn't be right.

I got off on the next exit and then heard a popping sound and steam rolled out from under the hood. I made it back to the dealership I had just passed and when I pulled in, steam rolled from under the hood again. I got a service writer and when he came out to look at it, the coolant gauge needle was then on hot. It never showed that when I was looking.

I lifted the hood and noticed the reservoir cap was blown off and the remaining coolant in it was boiling very loudly.


The service writer came to tell me that my radiator was melted inside but they needed to check to see if I had a blown head gasket.

He of course, came back with "Bad news for me" and said that my head gasket was blown and gave me a price of $6,000 to repair.



Being 2,500 miles away, I had them go ahead and proceed to fix it. Well low and behold, he texts me the next day to say I need to come by because he has to show me something. I get there and my engines apart and he shows me the discoloration where the timing chain would be as well as how different the pistons and combustion chamber look compared to another engine they had out of a Sienna with the same problem.

They recommended another engine in which I was hesitant about because my truck never went into limp mode but it was definitely running hot. To make a long story short, I ended up having them replace then engine, fearing that, as they stated, if they only replaced the blown head gasket, radiator, water pump and thermostat, that I could potentially be stuck out in the desert if the engine happened to be cracked.

$10,900 dollars later and having to take an extra 7 days of vacation, we were able to get it this past Saturday 7/23 at noon and proceed to drive it back the 2,500 miles to our home on 7/27 with the wife and daughter following me in a rental car.


For a little more insight, I have always babied my truck and never had any issues at all with it. I had my hometown Toyota dealership look it over and they found no issues. I had new tires put on, extra set of wipers if needed and made sure my spare tire was inflated and in good shape 2 weeks before we left.

I'm still pissed about the whole ordeal and found out also that the service writer didn't tell me that they had one engine put in but it was bad and they had to send it back to get another one. All he told me was that they were waiting on a gasket to be delivered.

The quoted price the service writer gave me was $2,000 less than what the total was. I called him to argue and he said that the parts cost ended up being more. I wanted to stay and argue with the service manager but after being stuck there for about 1 1/2 weeks, my wife had enough and just waned to get home so she said to just pay it.

Have any of you experienced anything like this on your Tundras? I wanna think that maybe the water pump failed being that the radiator was still full but I really don't know. Do you think the 100+ degree weather and mountainous areas contributed to it?

I didn't drive it more than 1.5 miles to get to the dealership that I had just passed.

I wanted to trade it in afterwards but of course, they didn't have any 2022's on their lot.
 
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Head gaskets are one of those things that just fail sometimes. They are the weakest part of the compression chamber after all, and there are many variables that can contribute to gasket failure.

The temp gauge reading "C" with a blown head gasket makes no sense to me, though. Was the radiator really melted (was it replaced)? I wonder if you may have had a thermostat failure that actually caused the head gasket failure (or maybe warped the head)? You may never know, but if the thermostat was closed, that would explain your temp gauge's behavior.

If you're engine looked like a typical engine with a major head gasket failure as compared to examples you can find online, you likely did blow a head gasket and hopefully now have 50+ thousand miles of more life from your truck.

Since you were able to drive it home on such a long trip without any trouble, I'd say the repairs were done correctly and you have adequately tested the new engine. Your truck should be in good shape now.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Head gaskets are one of those things that just fail sometimes. They are the weakest part of the compression chamber after all, and there are many variables that can contribute to gasket failure.

The temp gauge reading "C" with a blown head gasket makes no sense to me, though. Was the radiator really melted (was it replaced)? I wonder if you may have had a thermostat failure that actually caused the head gasket failure (or maybe warped the head)? You may never know, but if the thermostat was closed, that would explain your temp gauge's behavior.

If you're engine looked like a typical engine with a major head gasket failure as compared to examples you can find online, you likely did blow a head gasket and hopefully now have 50+ thousand miles of more life from your truck.

Since you were able to drive it home on such a long trip without any trouble, I'd say the repairs were done correctly and you have adequately tested the new engine. Your truck should be in good shape now.

.
Thanks for the response.

To clarify the temp gauge reading....It was at "C" until I pulled into the dealership and turned it off. Within 2-3 mins after the service writer came out to look at it, he started it and it was then at "H". He tried to tell me that I may have looked at the wrong gauge but I know which one to look at. Matter of fact all of the other gauges were halfway between "c" and "H".

They installed a used engine after replacing the spark plugs, water pump and thermostat on it to be safe. A new radiator was installed and they also drained and filled the transmission fluid.

These are pics I took after the had me come back over there to show me what they found.
 

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It sounds like you took good precautions, shame it didn't work out. Did they tell you how many miles on the replacement engine?
 

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Had my 2012 Crewmax looked over by the dealership before I took it on a long vacation. Had them check out everything, even wanted the serpintine belt replaced but they said it looked brand new.

So we head out on 7/1 to what ended up being a 6,250 mile road trip leaving Tennessee and stopping off in Oklahoma City, then Albuquerque, Sedona Arizona, Vegas and final destination being San Francisco before returning back home by way of Salt Lake City, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri then home to Tennessee.

Everything was fine as we made our way to San Francisco (travelling in areas where temps were 100+ degrees and very mountainous).

Woke up Monday 7/11 and left San Francisco when my Tundra check engine light and trac control light both came on about 45 mins north (vallejo, CA). I looked at my gauges for coolant and the needle was on the "C" for cold which I new couldn't be right.

I got off on the next exit and then heard a popping sound and steam rolled out from under the hood. I made it back to the dealership I had just passed and when I pulled in, steam rolled from under the hood again. I got a service writer and when he came out to look at it, the coolant gauge needle was then on hot. It never showed that when I was looking.

I lifted the hood and noticed the reservoir cap was blown off and the remaining coolant in it was boiling very loudly.


The service writer came to tell me that my radiator was melted inside but they needed to check to see if I had a blown head gasket.

He of course, came back with "Bad news for me" and said that my head gasket was blown and gave me a price of $6,000 to repair.



Being 2,500 miles away, I had them go ahead and proceed to fix it. Well low and behold, he texts me the next day to say I need to come by because he has to show me something. I get there and my engines apart and he shows me the discoloration where the timing chain would be as well as how different the pistons and combustion chamber look compared to another engine they had out of a Sienna with the same problem.

They recommended another engine in which I was hesitant about because my truck never went into limp mode but it was definitely running hot. To make a long story short, I ended up having them replace then engine, fearing that, as they stated, if they only replaced the blown head gasket, radiator, water pump and thermostat, that I could potentially be stuck out in the desert if the engine happened to be cracked.

$10,900 dollars later and having to take an extra 7 days of vacation, we were able to get it this past Saturday 7/23 at noon and proceed to drive it back the 2,500 miles to our home on 7/27 with the wife and daughter following me in a rental car.


For a little more insight, I have always babied my truck and never had any issues at all with it. I had my hometown Toyota dealership look it over and they found no issues. I had new tires put on, extra set of wipers if needed and made sure my spare tire was inflated and in good shape 2 weeks before we left.

I'm still pissed about the whole ordeal and found out also that the service writer didn't tell me that they had one engine put in but it was bad and they had to send it back to get another one. All he told me was that they were waiting on a gasket to be delivered.

The quoted price the service writer gave me was $2,000 less than what the total was. I called him to argue and he said that the parts cost ended up being more. I wanted to stay and argue with the service manager but after being stuck there for about 1 1/2 weeks, my wife had enough and just waned to get home so she said to just pay it.

Have any of you experienced anything like this on your Tundras? I wanna think that maybe the water pump failed being that the radiator was still full but I really don't know. Do you think the 100+ degree weather and mountainous areas contributed to it?

I didn't drive it more than 1.5 miles to get to the dealership that I had just passed.

I wanted to trade it in afterwards but of course, they didn't have any 2022's on their lot.
The only opinion I can offer other than my sympathy, is a brake job is 400+ for one axle. Id say you got a good deal for a replacement engine and installation. It sucks, yes. But a new truck is what? 80k? Plus taxes? Just my thoughts.
 

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Honestly, $10K for a replacement used engine is not bad. Even if they had caught the head gasket before it blew out, you would have been looking at several thousands to just fix that. And the fact that they had to put in a second engine when the first one was bad is a risk when installing a used engine, but it sounds like they did not charge you for that labor. Straight up, if you got a good running replacement engine installed for $10K, you were treated very fairly.

A head gasket can go any time. Sometimes you can catch it if the radiator fluid is getting low, or you notice some fluid coming out of the tail pipe, or if you notice that the radiator fluid has way too much pressure in it (it is being pressurized by the cylinder pressure leaking into the radiator fluid), but many times, it just fails and that's it.

I am not sure why you did not get a high temp indication. It probably got an air bubble in the fluid and kept you from getting a high temp reading or stopped the fluid from circulating.

But for anyone who does get a high temp reading, you cannot drive it at all when it gets hot. You have to shut if off and let it cool down. Never ever drive an engine hot. If you do, you will wreck the engine......unless of course you are under warranty, and it got hot, and you are not sure if you damaged the engine or not, then keep driving it so they have to replace the entire engine (same for low oil pressure). Ha.
 
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