Q: Car has shut off because of overheating.. What to do

asked by on July 14, 2017

Van was overheating. Made my way 2 the shoulder. Can shut off n won't start back up... Barely turning over like it needs a jump

My car has 230000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Overheating can be caused by a number of things such as low coolant levels, a faulty thermostat, a clogged radiator or a failing coolant fan switch. As you may know the coolant fan switch helps to maintain the proper coolant temperature by turning on and off at specific temperature thresholds. When this switch is not working properly, this can cause the fans to come on intermittently, all the time or sometimes not at all. When this happens you will notice a temperature spike and drop occasionally as the fan comes on and off. When your thermostat is not working properly or is stuck closed, this will not allow the coolant to properly circulate through the engine, which may cause the engine temperature to fluctuate erratically or in some cases just remain hot. You may also have a water pump that is beginning to fail. Water pumps often times will begin to produce a bit of a whining sound when they are starting to fail. A common problem also associated with this is the water pump may begin to leak around the water pump shaft due to the seal being damaged. In addition to leaking around the pump, you may have a leak elsewhere in the cooling system coming from one of the hoses going to or from the radiator. Lastly, you may have a failing cylinder head gasket allowing coolant to leak from the water passages into the cylinders resulting in the coolant being burnt in the combustion chamber with the fuel. If this is the case, you may also notice a bit of white smoke coming from your exhaust which is a product of the coolant being turned into a steam like vapor. I would suggest having an expert from Your Mechanic come to your home to diagnose your cooling system.

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

Powertrain Light

The power train warning light generally will come on when the computer has detected a fault within the transmission control system. When this happens, the transmission control system puts the vehicle into a "limp mode" which helps to prevent further...

When I stop my car it starts to turn off. When I run my car for a bit and turn it off, it won't turn back on when I twist the key.

Hello. If the car doesn't crank then there is likely an issue with the starting or electrical system. If the issue began after you installed the new battery then the first thing I would do is check the battery to...

Can a loose gas cap or driving on really rough roads cause a P0193 error code?

Hi there, thanks for writing in. To answer your question in a simple way: maybe. The P-0193 OBD-II error code is as you indicated, a fuel rail pressure sensor circuit issue. This may have been triggered by the aggressive off-road...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy for Occasional Drivers
Not Not everyone relies on their car on a daily basis. Maybe you aren’t the type that deals with a daily commute, and running from here to there constantly. If that’s the case, you may be looking for a car...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The The Miata is one of the few cars of the last few decades to become an instant – and enduring – classic. Adored among young and old, male and female alike, the car has maintained popularity as well as...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're a Personal Assistant
As As a personal assistant, you have a lot of demands placed on your time. Often it’s important that you be able to get around town quickly, running a ton of errands, picking things up here, dropping them off there,...