Toyota Yaris badly overheated - any hope?

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Winnipeg MB CA
My friend phoned yesterday, asking for assistance in diagnosing issues with his son-in-law's commuter car, a 2009 Toyota Yaris. (The Yaris was Toyota's subcompact of the day, succeeding the Echo.)

Son-in-law had reported the check-engine light on. I agreed to walk over to my friend's house with my ScanGauge. My friend phoned back to say that his SIL had reported lots of lights on the dash, and smoke from under the hood, and had driven home to his bedroom community about 25 km away instead of stopping here in town.

My friend and I drove out there, and, as I'd feared, the serpentine belt was missing. That meant that the water pump had not been turning, and the car had overheated badly enough to boil off the coolant. The "smoke" had actually been steam. There were clotted coolant boogers spewed all over the engine compartment, including crusted on top of the filler neck, which didn't allow the rad cap to seat properly.

We added a lot of water to the cooling system. The starter could not turn the engine over - there was just the rattle of the solenoid. I was able to get a socket on the crank pulley bolt, and was able to turn the engine over without too much effort. I told them that the engine was likely ruined, but that if we replaced the serpentine belt it might be OK when it cooled down.

The belt was cheap, so we installed a new one. The engine turned over well, but did not start.

Is there any point in pursuing this further? They are a lovely young family of limited means, are very good people, and are really good parents. They definitely need the 2nd car for him to take to work, so she can have the van available in case there's a emergency with the kids.

I would like to help, but wonder if there's any point in them putting a used engine into this car. It's an '09 Yaris, 1.5 l, 4-speed automatic, with about 200K on the clock, and the beginnings of some rust. Any chance this stout little Toyota engine will have survived the overheating and be OK? It's hard to find used engines here for cars that old.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
 
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5,187
Location
NJ
I wouldn't put a lot of money into it. I'd worry about a blown head gasket. Good on you for trying to help them out. A used one or corolla with 100k is a better use of their money than messing around with a replacement engine.
 

JC1

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5,529
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Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Who knows what is wrong with that Yaris. Could have blown the headgasket. Unless someone was very handy and could do it all themselves it's an expensive lesson to that family. You tried to help briefly, I would try to distance yourself. My neighbor is the same way with cars, knows nothing about maintenance and just takes it to the mechanic when they have issues. They learn expensive lessons every 4-6 years when cars fail.
 
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127
My friend phoned yesterday, asking for assistance in diagnosing issues with his son-in-law's commuter car, a 2009 Toyota Yaris. (The Yaris was Toyota's subcompact of the day, succeeding the Echo.)

Son-in-law had reported the check-engine light on. I agreed to walk over to my friend's house with my ScanGauge. My friend phoned back to say that his SIL had reported lots of lights on the dash, and smoke from under the hood, and had driven home to his bedroom community about 25 km away instead of stopping here in town.

My friend and I drove out there, and, as I'd feared, the serpentine belt was missing. That meant that the water pump had not been turning, and the car had overheated badly enough to boil off the coolant. The "smoke" had actually been steam. There were clotted coolant boogers spewed all over the engine compartment, including crusted on top of the filler neck, which didn't allow the rad cap to seat properly.

We added a lot of water to the cooling system. The starter could not turn the engine over - there was just the rattle of the solenoid. I was able to get a socket on the crank pulley bolt, and was able to turn the engine over without too much effort. I told them that the engine was likely ruined, but that if we replaced the serpentine belt it might be OK when it cooled down.

The belt was cheap, so we installed a new one. The engine turned over well, but did not start.

Is there any point in pursuing this further? They are a lovely young family of limited means, are very good people, and are really good parents. They definitely need the 2nd car for him to take to work, so she can have the van available in case there's a emergency with the kids.

I would like to help, but wonder if there's any point in them putting a used engine into this car. It's an '09 Yaris, 1.5 l, 4-speed automatic, with about 200K on the clock, and the beginnings of some rust. Any chance this stout little Toyota engine will have survived the overheating and be OK? It's hard to find used engines here for cars that old.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

I would run from that situation
 
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gathermewool

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8,571
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New England
I bet a leak-down test will answer every question you might want to know about how salvageable this engine is...

jk, it's toast. Might be fun to do a compression and LD test for funzees, though.
 
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2,667
Location
Kentucky
I would try to diagnose why it's not starting. If the compression is bad enough that it won't support combustion, you'll usually hear it during the starting sequence-- it will turn over faster or sound like it's skipping cylinders.

If it sounds normal cranking, I would think that it should show some signs of life and that it might be worth investigating a bit further. A compression test is quick and easy to do on an inline 4 and even though it won't always pinpoint a bad head gasket, it should at least tell you whether the engine is capable of running and worth diagnosing further. Once you get it running, if it has a bad head gasket, you'll usually know pretty quickly.

Or you could skip the above steps and go right to leakdown test if you have the tools available.
 

Number_35

Thread starter
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1,670
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
Remove the radiator cap and crank it. If it blows water out its done.
Yes, it did spew out a lot of water when cranking.
I would try to diagnose why it's not starting. If the compression is bad enough that it won't support combustion, you'll usually hear it during the starting sequence-- it will turn over faster or sound like it's skipping cylinders.
Yes to this too - RRR-rrr-RRR-rrr-RRR.

Good advice from everyone - I'll try to persuade them not to sink any money into this car, and won't volunteer to do a motor swap. I am glad to help them check out replacement cars if they want.

Thanks, all!
 
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NH
Dumb guess, but didn't Toyota sell a bunch of Yaris over the years? Pretty sure they all used the same engine--if not all years, then at least a decent spread. Probably fastest and cheapest to find a junkyard motor and drop in. Junk the car if it's rotted or somesuch, or if a freebie car is available. Otherwise it's likely the cheapest option.

If you really want to get involved (not sure I would), you could try pulling the head and looking. I suspect that a HG replacement might be more work than engine swap, but if your labor is free it might be the cheap option. But I'm not so sure about the bottom end--might get lucky, I guess it depends on what can be seen once the head comes off. If the rings did go bad, well, could always do a ring and bearing job (and HG a second time). Lotta work--hope he has a garage.
 
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12,148
Location
OH
Too bad those are nice, little runners. An 06 to 08 Corolla or another 2010 Yaris would be good options for a replacement...with some maintenance records.
 

JC1

Messages
5,529
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Dumb guess, but didn't Toyota sell a bunch of Yaris over the years? Pretty sure they all used the same engine--if not all years, then at least a decent spread. Probably fastest and cheapest to find a junkyard motor and drop in. Junk the car if it's rotted or somesuch, or if a freebie car is available. Otherwise it's likely the cheapest option.

If you really want to get involved (not sure I would), you could try pulling the head and looking. I suspect that a HG replacement might be more work than engine swap, but if your labor is free it might be the cheap option. But I'm not so sure about the bottom end--might get lucky, I guess it depends on what can be seen once the head comes off. If the rings did go bad, well, could always do a ring and bearing job (and HG a second time). Lotta work--hope he has a garage.
Dumb guess, but didn't Toyota sell a bunch of Yaris over the years? Pretty sure they all used the same engine--if not all years, then at least a decent spread. Probably fastest and cheapest to find a junkyard motor and drop in. Junk the car if it's rotted or somesuch, or if a freebie car is available. Otherwise it's likely the cheapest option.

If you really want to get involved (not sure I would), you could try pulling the head and looking. I suspect that a HG replacement might be more work than engine swap, but if your labor is free it might be the cheap option. But I'm not so sure about the bottom end--might get lucky, I guess it depends on what can be seen once the head comes off. If the rings did go bad, well, could always do a ring and bearing job (and HG a second time). Lotta work--hope he has a garage.
If the OP helps he's going to be in the middle of this mess. I like helping people out too, but in the end a thank you just ain't enough for a headache like this.
 
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