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Answered 2011-09-12 13:59:38

Keep in mind the first generation Camry (SV11) has a temperature guage which is very quick to respond to changes, plus Camrys use an electronicly controlled radiator fan (ie, not one connected to the engine directly) triggered by a separate thermoswitch. This offen results in the temp guage going three quarters of the way up or more before the cooling fan triggers bringing the temp down to normal in as little as 15 seconds (20 seconds typical). The 1983+ SV11's uses the Toyota SE21 single overhead cam 4 cylinder EFI 2lt engine. If the temp guage is dropping to cold when driving down hill with the engine idling, or when fast motorway/freeway/highway driving with the engine at low rpm, or it takes more than 10 minutes normal driving to reach middle (normal) temperature from a cold start, the problem is a faulty thermostat. You should have the thermostat replaced, a cheap operation as the Camry SV11's thermostat houseing is very easily accessable (unlike a lot of later Toyota engines!) and new thermostats and rubber gaskets very inexpensive. At the same time consider having the cooling system reversed flushed, inspected for problems and the coolant replaced as a neglected thermostat usually means a neglected cooling system. Glycol based antifreeze/antiboil/anticorrosion additive (a vital part of coolant system maintenance regardless of climate) stops working after about a year and the coolant water+additive should be replaced annually (some modern glycol formulas claim 3 or more years but annual replacement of water+additive is still recommended to prevent acidity buildup and corrosion).If oddities persist the water pump may be to blame. Look for any water coming from a tiny hole in the water pump housing next to the pully as this indicates the water pump's water seal has failed and the bearings are likely also worn and near failure.

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