I have a 2002 Chevy Cavalier. It started having problems overheating when it idles. I couldn’t figure out the cause. Now, there is Smoke coming out the hood. My antifreeze is full but the low engine coolant light (I think that’s what it is. It has like a little water icon with a down arrow) is on as well as the low traction and check engine lights. The car lurches when I put it into drive from park. Just driving down the street 4 blocks I lost a whole half tank of gas, but when I parked, turned the card off and restarted it, it showed I hadn’t lost any gas at all. When I sit in a drive thru, the rpm goes down to 0 and the car shuts itself off. What do I need to do? Most mechanics try to quote me over $300 just to diagnose it.
My car has 120k+ miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.
You probably get the high quote because of your long list of problems. The overheating is the most serious symptom and is the one you need to look at first. It may be a simple as a leaking hose. The other problems may be all related. It sounds as though you have an instrumentation problem, which would make me want to look carefully at your engine and battery ground connections. Your other issues may be related to that, or there could be a problem in the throttle body that causes your lurching and stalling. It might not be all as bad as it sounds. If you contact Your Mechanic, you can have a technician come out to your home or office and [check out your overheating](https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/car-is-overheating-inspection and idle speed problems and let you know what it will take to solve them.
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