Q: 02 Cavalier overheating

asked by on August 21, 2017

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.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

while i am running my air conditioner my check gages light comes on and when i cut the ac off the lights go off

Hi there. In most cases, what you are describing is caused by an exposed electrical wire somewhere in the AC system or even perhaps the center console. This can cause warning lights or other indication lights come on occasionally when...

Transmission does not shift properly

This may be a result of low transmission fluid or potentially a faulty transmission control module. A faulty transmission control module may cause a delay in acceleration or erratic shifting of gears. The transmission control module has various sensors such...

My car studders when the gas pedal is pressed.

This may be a sign of a failing throttle position sensor. The throttle position sensor (TPS) is a sensor used to monitor the throttle position of a vehicle. The sensor is usually located on the butterfly spindle/shaft so that it...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu
While While many people thought that Toyota and Honda had taken over the mid-size family sedan market with models like the Camry and the Accord, Chevrolet surprised the whole market with the Malibu. Available with either a four- our six-cylinder...
2012 Chevrolet Malibu vs. 2012 Ford Fusion: Which One Should I Buy?
When you want a midsize sedan, you’re looking for something that will offer you the best fuel economy for the size as well as additional safety features that will keep your family safe while you’re driving across town or around...
How To Keep Your Car From Overheating
Monitoring your coolant level, turning the A/C off in very hot weather, and regular inspections will help you avoid having an overheating car.