I own a 1995 Toyota 4Runner (I was told the engine was rebuilt, so I'm not sure if mileage matters). I got this from my grandpa around 2 years ago, which had been sitting at his house parked for over 7 years. The first week I got to use it, it was constantly heating up (radiator was clogged), Every liquid had some sort of leak somewhere, and the brakes were squeaking. I'm not very experienced in cars, but I definitely knew how to fix every single one of my problems.

Unfortunately, I've run into a problem I just can't seem to fix, and just for some back story. I drove the truck for around 60 miles (1 hour or so) on the freeway, and just before I got to my destination, the truck over heated. I'm pretty sure I blew a head gasket. I had to leave the truck there and tow it back. This is only where one of my problems started. The truck obviously wasn't running the same, I wasn't worried about that. I didn't have money to immediately fix the problem, so I left my truck parked outside and just used my other car. The only time I'd turn on the truck was to move it across the street for the street cleaners.

After maybe a month of this, one day I woke up to move my truck, and the truck would not turn on. All power was drained from the truck. I constantly have to jump start the car. At first, jump starting the car made it work fine, turn it off, it turns back on. However weeks of constantly having to jump start the truck pass, and now the truck struggles to turn on, there's like 6 clicks before the truck even tries to start. Whats worse is that if I step on the brake to put it in reverse, it dies. If I turn the headlights on, it dies.

I know these are probably two separate problems, but let me further explain. The only way for me to move my truck, is to rev it up to 3k rpm until the engine sounds like it normally does idling (normally just gets quieter, sounds more condensed - I don't know). After this I have to quickly change gears and step on the gas if not it dies. This worked fine until I noticed smoke starting to come from the engine after doing this. I know what the smell of burning coolant smells like, but i cant tell if that's what this is, because its a bit off. The smoke comes out from the drivers side, right next to the wheel. The hose looks like its connected through a triangle washer (I don't know what its called) and connects to the bottom of the engine block.

I'm not sure what other information I could give to help solve these problems. when I ran the the check engine code, it said knock sensor.

I know from research that the knock sensor can cause your truck to lose power, what I don't know is if I have two problems or if both my problems are just the cause of 1 thing i need to fix. I don't even really know where to start because I don't know my problem by name. Please let me know any other information I need to give out. Thank you

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Sep 6, 2018 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


I think you've already answered your own question -- you blew a head gasket. The difficulty starting is due to coolant entering one or more cylinders, causing a vapor lock.

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