Radiator busted, Fun Weekend

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Mar 7, 2022
Coweta County, GA
Back in November I was able to finally buy an LC/LX after years of wanting/looking/dreaming. Found a 2013 LX570 that was meticulously maintained, very clean, etc., and feel like I paid a fair price for it. I got some maintenance caught up on it that I didn't see the grand ole dealer do - Transmission service, front, center and rear diffs, then an oil change and cabin air filter. I also hit a few of the grease fittings on the U-joints and driveshaft, low and behold there's not a spec of dirt or grease on them from the dealer previously servicing them. Amazin', huh?

Anyway, driving back from a funeral last Saturday night, I stop to fuel up, restroom break, etc., and pop the hood to check the oil as I normally do most every fill-up since this is my wife's daily driver and she doesn't when filling up. Bam! White/pink crap sprayed everywhere and I kinda freak out. I note that while the tank is empty, there's nothing pouring out of everywhere and I did not know these radiators in the 2008-2015 had the problem. So I make it to the parts store and buy some generic pink coolant, put some in the tank and make it the 100 miles home.

Get a new OEM radiator ordered on Sunday afternoon for pickup at a local Toyota dealer, with coolant and hoses. Get the old radiator out Tuesday evening, pick up new parts Wednesday and get it in minus hose clamps. Learned a valuable lesson to get the hoses on the block with the clamps in place before putting the radiator in. Had to get some cable-operated hose clamp pliers and got everything done on Thursday, filled up and burped/bled on Thursday night. I didn't drive it, just idled for 30-45 minutes. Overnight cool down sucked about 16-20 oz of coolant back in from the tank. Friday afternoon I decide to drop the transmission pan, change the filter (didn't do that a month ago), clean the pan again and new gasket. Put 6+ quarts of trans fluid in and crawl out to hook my code reader up and go to crank it.

I get "Check VGRS System" and "Check AHC System" on the display, all kinds of lights on the dash. Code reader has no power. I freak out. I spend the next hour or so looking for blown fuses, repeatedly cranking it, whatever. I decide to take the negative battery cable off overnight. Go back out Saturday morning, hook it up and same same same. Had to do some stuff Saturday, come back home and get back to looking for more fuse blocks. Found the one under the driver's dash. Completely miss the OBD fuse. Do some searching/reading online. Looking all over, look through the manual, just trying to figure out what's wrong.

Sunday morning I find the third fuse block under the passenger dash, nothing blown. Check again on the driver's side. Find the OBD fuse location, all good. I then look at my code reader plug and notice two pins are bent down, right in the middle. I get a screwdriver, pry them back up and plug it in, it fires up. I crank it up and BAM!, all good. I drain the transmission at temp, test drive and it's good to go. Felt like 3 tons of weight off my chest.

Anyway, if you're reading this and have a 2008-2015 and have not yet replaced the radiator, I'd get prepped up on it. Mine went at 114k, I've read 100k miles is about the magic number. It's not that bad. I highly recommend a battery powered 3/8" ratchet, cable and non-cable operated hose clamp pliers, 20" x 3/8" extension, 12mm ratcheting box wrench, 10mm and 12mm sockets in short, mid and deep, 2 pieces of 1/2" wood dowel with one end on each "sharpened" down to 3/8" or so like a pencil to plug the trans fluid cooler lines. There's a video on YT that is from January 2022 that really lays it all out. I feel like I could do this job now in 2 hours, including adding a quart of trans fluid and draining it down at temp. Having someone to help pull the old radiator out and hold/push the new one in while you are under the car will help.

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