Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car got hot and died

asked by on

My temperature gauge went to all the way hot, and then my car just shut off.

Hi. The car shuts off to protect itself as significant damage can occur without the proper amount of cooling. The first thing to check is make sure you have enough coolant. There may be 4 different lines on the tank, hot full, hot low, cold full, and cold low. The temperature refers to engine temperature not the temperature of the air. So if the car was just driven, make sure the level is above the "hot low" line. If the level is in between the low and full the car is ok to drive for short distances, but you should fill it all the way. Be sure to let the engine cool down before adding coolant. If the level is below the low line, I would not recommend driving the vehicle until coolant is added. One thing to note is that you should never have to add coolant to a vehicle so there is most likely a leak if you are low on coolant. It is possible for internal leaks to occur which would not leave a puddle underneath the car and can be difficult to locate. A certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, would be able to help you diagnose the cause of the overheating problem.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: How often replace fuel filter 2013 Kia soul

Hi there. Generally, fuel filters should be replaced every 50,000 miles, so it's a good idea to have the fuel filter replaced for your Kia Soul if this hasn't been completed. You might benefit by downloading our mobile app, as...

Q: Leaking antifreeze

The leak you are describing is the radiator core leaking. You should have the system pressure tested to see if the radiator core is leaking in the center or the side tank is leaking.

Q: My radiator boils after the car has stopped. The cap has been replaced, thermostat, fan sensor, etc. 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser

Hi there - the "boiling after shutoff" symptom is evidence of excess engine heat which is not being radiated by the radiator. Most likely, the "sealant" you added to the cooling system prior, is biting you back. The leak sealant...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.