pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
117,000 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. do not buy this truck (2 reports)
  2. don't use such cheap components (1 reports)
1988 Toyota Pickup cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1988 Toyota Pickup Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 011988

Pickup SR5

  • Manual transmission
  • 1,000 miles


Cooling system has been problematic from day one. The first time I drove this vehicle (brand new - $15,000) the temperature gauge soared into the red. The thermostat was sticking. Thermostat has been replaced many times, but this is not really the issue. There is just nothing good about the cooling system. It's horrible, the worst I've seen. Radiator was garbage. Hoses don't last and are in extremely difficult places to replace. Water pump went bad. Cheap aftermarket Chinese radiator has been a small improvement. Thank goodness the temperature gauge has always worked properly so I know when it's overheating, which is constantly. The only good component from what I can tell is the heater core. It's still original. Everything else has been replaced and/or repaired. Original fan clutch may have been okay but was replaced because it didn't seem to be working. Fan belt system is junk. GM was using much better system in 1988 and so I suppose in later years Toyota copied this system (the single belt design) like they do with everything else. The three belt system - using V belts. Weren't V belts used on old Ford Model Ts? Here's an engine new enough to have fuel injection but still uses Conan the barbarian components for the fan belt, alternator, AC, PW/PS, etc. There is no good adjustment mechanism for some of these belts. Like Conan, you have to stick a pry bar in there, force the belt out tight by prying against an engine component, and tightening the thing quickly.

- wjl, Lincoln, NE, US

problem #2

Jul 012009

Pickup 2.4L Fuel Injec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

Alright this pickup is one of the biggest piece of sh*t they have to many coolant line running all over the bitch you have to take so much sh*t off to get to one thing they don't sell half te sh*t you need like the they need to seal a full coolant line kit cause the mother f*cker has not lived up to anything any one has said about unless they said it was a piece of sh*t hell i said it and has the worst automatic trans it don't shift worth a f*ck and the have all kinds of problems but if you want to take on a rebuild be my guest i did it and my sh*t came out Good its just the hassle of it just take lots of pics and i mean go f*ckin crazy with that sh*t and even take some video cause everything helps that's why i leave you on a good note of "CHEVROLET FOR LIFE"

- Sidney D., Longview, TX, US

problem #1

Jan 272006

(reported on)

Pickup SR5 4x4

  • 150,000 miles

The cooling system is not adequately designed. There is nothing that lasts very long except for maybe the water pump which will last over 100K and the fan clutch. The radiator, thermostat, and hoses should be designed to last a little longer than a few years. My radiator lasted about 3 years from brand new. I rebuilt it twice before replacing it (the 2nd rebuild didn't work from the radiator shop). I suggest not having it rebuilt at all if your radiator goes out. Buy a new one and make sure it is not a Toyota brand. Buy one made in China from the local auto parts store because it is much better than the OEM radiator. Also use the Toyota coolant once you fix your cooling system problem because it is supposed to last longer than Prestone regular. The cooling system on Toyotas has to rank as the worst of all automobiles on the market.

- toyotasucks, Garland, NE, US

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