05 GX470 Sport temp gauge

Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Los Angeles
Hi All,

I have a doubt that I wanted to run by all of you experts.

So I was camping with the GX this weekend up in the Sequoias' and Kern river towing a pop-up trailer (1993 oldie but goodie). I believe the trailer weighs in at roughly 2000 lbs. I also had a cargo carrier up on the roof, it was just my GF and I. Now on the drive back to L.A. I had to go up the Tejon pass (which is a VERY sleep and long part of the 5 fwy with roughly 3000 ft elevation gain in less than 5 miles. It was 100 degrees at 3pm, AC on.. and I start the climb. I'm trying to maintain 70mph dodging semis and other cars. I noticed my Temp gauge which always always sits in the middle, start to creep up to just below 3/4 from red. I turn AC off, and maintain speed. temp needle goes down ever so slightly and on the last incline goes back to 3/4. I get to the top and it goes back to middle. I hit other inclines (not as steep) and needle doesn't budge.. stays in middle for the remainder of the trip.

Talking to a buddy of mine, he says he's never need a toyota go past middle.

My question is: is this indicative of a problem? I had done this same trip, same conditions about 3 weeks ago and yes it was only 95 degrees when I went up the pass that time (no issues).

my GX has 245k miles and had the timing belt and water pump, and main radiator hoses replaced about 7000 miles ago, coolant and thermostat as well as serpentine belt was also done at that time.

The only standing issue on the truck in my right wheel bearing is starting to go, so I do hear a lil noise from it.

is this normal operation given the heat/incline/load? Is there something I should look at like maybe a new radiator or flushing w fresh coolant again?

Thanks guys!!
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
5,899
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Southern Colorado
Check your coolant level in the radiator and overflow bottle (both) and buy a new radiator cap. I would not worry about it getting warm in this manner. If you had steam shooting out of the radiator during this, I'd be more concerned. Radiators are cheap - you could replace it to be on the safe side.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
550
Location
Charlotte, NC
I would not be concerned. We are used to gauges that are more like idiot lights than real gauges because people freak out when the gauge moves slightly. My old cars move all over the place as conditions change (oil temp, oil pressure, coolant temp). Modern car gauges are more like idiot lights (ie on or off). The problem with this type of gauge, is that you don't know what is going on until it is too late. The fact that the gauge moved should be okay as long as it didn't get into and stay in the red zone. Also, I think it is a good indicator that it returned to normal on all of the other climbs.

I assume you were in 4th gear and not D when towing up these mountains. Also, consider slowing down a bit and don't be as concerned with keeping a high rate of speed on big climbs. My $0.02.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Los Angeles
I would not be concerned. We are used to gauges that are more like idiot lights than real gauges because people freak out when the gauge moves slightly. My old cars move all over the place as conditions change (oil temp, oil pressure, coolant temp). Modern car gauges are more like idiot lights (ie on or off). The problem with this type of gauge, is that you don't know what is going on until it is too late. The fact that the gauge moved should be okay as long as it didn't get into and stay in the red zone. Also, I think it is a good indicator that it returned to normal on all of the other climbs.

I assume you were in 4th gear and not D when towing up these mountains. Also, consider slowing down a bit and don't be as concerned with keeping a high rate of speed on big climbs. My $0.02.
Thanks for all the feedback guys... well no I didn't go into 4 because the car downshifts automatically when it needs to. It did 4th and 3rd on its own. Unless you guys know something I don't... Should I have just been on 4th?

Yeah I also checked the coolant level cold, it was slightly below the LOW indicator mark.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
550
Location
Charlotte, NC
Yes, when towing, do not use "D" which is technically overdrive. 4th gear is 1:1 and you don't want to go beyond that when towing because the drivetrain is then at a mechanical disadvantage (0.716:1). If you are in 4, it will still downshift if needed but it will not shift beyond the gear selected. If you are towing a garden trailer of yard waste, this doesn't necessarily apply. But, if you are towing something substantial and/or difficult terrain, this applies to all vehicles.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Los Angeles
Yes, when towing, do not use "D" which is technically overdrive. 4th gear is 1:1 and you don't want to go beyond that when towing because the drivetrain is then at a mechanical disadvantage (0.716:1). If you are in 4, it will still downshift if needed but it will not shift beyond the gear selected. If you are towing a garden trailer of yard waste, this doesn't necessarily apply. But, if you are towing something substantial and/or difficult terrain, this applies to all vehicles.
OH CRAP!!! I did NOT know that- OK. I will never use D again when Towing.. THANKS guys!!! you are all the BEST!!!!
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
550
Location
Charlotte, NC
I just had another thought....

I use the OBD fusion app along with a BT OBDII dongle. This allows for custom gauges on my phone so i can monitor AT temps, oil temp, and coolant temp beyond what our gauges show. I highly recommend this for towing or any other stressful type of driving such as off-roading.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
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1,292
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Pagosa Springs Colorado
Yesterday I was pulling a 6x12 U-Haul trailer Loaded with furniture from Colorado Springs to Pagosa Springs. I avg 12.5 mpg. I have 2 mountain passes to go over, La Veta & Wolf Creek and going over La Veta Pass, a 14 mile 3000ft climb, my trans temp got to 245 degrees, mostly ran around 235 going up the grade. I have a scangauge11 on my steering column and iData in my stereo to monitor stuff. Here is what I know, pulling La Veta pass at 35-40mph in 2nd gear, transmission temperature was around 235, Engine coolant 205, EGT 1600, air intake temp 106, engine load 75-95%. Pulling Wolf Creek pass from the east side, a 2500ft climb, the TT 235 at the top, stay around 220 for most of it, Coolant 205, and I didn’t get the other readings.
In the next couple of weeks I will flush the transmission fluid to be safe, I don’t know what Lexus considers the high temp for the transmission but the overheat light did not come on.
I recommend that anyone who pull a trailer, get the tools need to monitor your engine and transmission.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
127
Location
Miami
Piggy backing off of the other people that mentioned the bluetooth obd2 scanners. Have any of you guys found one that I can connect to torque that will not drain the battery after a few days of staying plugged in? Most on the market seem to be on all the time and slowly drain the battery.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Los Angeles
Check your coolant level in the radiator and overflow bottle (both) and buy a new radiator cap. I would not worry about it getting warm in this manner. If you had steam shooting out of the radiator during this, I'd be more concerned. Radiators are cheap - you could replace it to be on the safe side.

Going on another camping trip in the morning so today I took your advice and bought a radiator cap at Toyota $21 bucks... The one that was on there was a Chinese cap.. LOL Glad I did that - don't want cheaper parts esp when it comes to cooling system. Radiator is a Denso thankfully!!
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Los Angeles
I just had another thought....

I use the OBD fusion app along with a BT OBDII dongle. This allows for custom gauges on my phone so i can monitor AT temps, oil temp, and coolant temp beyond what our gauges show. I highly recommend this for towing or any other stressful type of driving such as off-roading.
can you link me to what you bought?

So the dongle does everything and you just pair it to an app on your phone? I see stuff on ebay for 30 -60 bucks.. is that what you are referring to?
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2011
Messages
205
Location
Seattle, Wa
I’ve been using this one for over a year now. I never unplug it. Works great with the android app on our GROM.
(also that’s how I saw my alternator was going out)

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EE813BBB-FB4F-4989-A7BA-E981123B6929.jpeg
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
127
Location
Miami
Thanks for the recommendation. I just bought the one you mentioned. Are you using normal torque or torque pro for those gauges?
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Los Angeles
I’m using Torque Pro(Android version) and the GROM VLine2 to display it on the OEM nav screen.
cool. I've heard talk that leaving the BODII reader connected can affect the transmission's torque converter and thus making it work more.. have you experienced anything like that?
 

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