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

asked by on November 21, 2016

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.

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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.

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