Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car died while driving. What's the cause?

asked by on

I have a 99 ford contour. It was stolen and the person hit a pole. The hood dented and something was pushed against the radiator but no leaks. It ran fine until two days ago. The car began to leak reddish fluid from the front passenger side. Later that evening everything seemed normal. All of a sudden the car started making a loud noise like something was clogged or something wasnt moving. The battery symbol illuminated and the temperature gage went up. I cut it off. It cranked back up. I attempted to get home but windshield wipers started to slow down. Lights got low. Car slowed down. Eventually the car died. I have no idea whats wrong. Please help

My car has 169999 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. When the vehicle has been in an accident, there can always be a lot more damage than what appears on the surface. The amount of force the vehicle took when it hit the light most likely started the issues you are having now. The red fluid running from your vehicle is either power steering fluid, or unfortunately transmission fluid. The lack of power and the slow die is related to battery failure. Either the alternator has stopped charging it, or the battery has failed to hold a charge. The temperature hike may be related to the loss of battery power. Focus on the other issues first, transmission being the most critical and typically the most expensive. If the vehicle continues to overheat afterwards, then you will want to double check that radiator damage. Step by step you will need to address the separate issues and hope that no further damage had been done.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
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

Q: Radiator leak

Hi there. Most radiators have an aluminum core and plastic tanks. The tank and core are sealed by a gasket. It is common for this gasket to leak over time. Replacing the radiator is the usual repair. Checking and replacing...

Q: crunching noise from the front end of the car

Noises like these generally come from worn suspension components or ones that may just require some lubrication. Ball joints and control arm bushings are usual causes for this type of noise. Hire an automotive technician experienced in vehicle steering and...

Q: my battery light stays on

You need to check to make sure the large power wire to the alternator is getting power. If it is not then you may have to check the wire from alternator to the battery fuse box for burned out wires...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...