Here is a short reply to a question I received from a reader which I thought may be of general interest.
Q: I have question about our Toyota Hiace: The Toyota started to overheat – I was told this happened because the water pump was leaking. In the end, not a cheap repair as the engine head developed a crack. Could this problem have been prevented if the driver was paying attention to the temp gauge?
A: Good to hear from you. Sad to hear of your troubles.
The leakage in the water pump can cause this problem if it goes unnoticed; this leads to a loss of coolant which then leads to an over heating problem. When an engine overheats it can cause cracking but the most common cause of cracking the head is pouring water on it when it’s red hot!
The problem was avoidable if the vehicle had correct pre driving inspections done to it and if the driver monitored the gauge. Saying that, if the thermostat had been taken out of the cooling system then the gauge could still read ok when the back end of the cylinder head gets hot.
Water pumps generally last quite a long time if coolant is run in the cooling system and the drive belt isn’t too tight. These are 2 common problems which occur in this region. So, run coolant, drive belt at the right tension, thermostat in place, correct pre driving inspections.