Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car keeps overheating

asked by on

It seems like whenever my car is running and I'm stuck in traffic or just sitting without moving for a certain period of time, my car begins to overheat and smoke from the part where the antifreeze goes. It did it today and a guy noticed , took a look and said based from experience it may have to do with the thermostat. Help ?

My car has 80000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: When a car overheats when it is sitting sti...

When a car overheats when it is sitting still or moving slowly, this is because the cooling fans are not turning on. If the car is fine while moving, the thermostat is fine, although, anytime a motor overheats, it can damage the thermostat so once you fix the cooling fan issue, I recommend changing the thermostat as well. The smoke is actually steam and the radiator cap is releasing the excessive build up of pressure from getting to hot. This is to be expected in an overheating condition.

Your cooling fans need to be diagnosed. There are many different components that can create this condition. The fan clutch on your car is electronically controlled and is more complicated than most cooling fan systems. I recommend having a qualified professional, like one from YourMechanic, diagnose the overheating issue so that this can be corrected.

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: my heat gauge goes up when idling then comes back down when driving

It sounds as though you are probably having an issue with the cooling fan(s). The primary function for the cooling fan(s) is to push/pull air through the radiator at low speeds, or at a stand still. When stationary, there is...

Q: Got tune up 3 months later engine loss power, ruff idle, and now it wont start but does crank, what can it be?

Hi there. The symptom that you are describing could be either the head gasket burned or the thermostat is stuck. Open the hood and check externally of the engine to see if there is any cracks. Since you said that...

Q: When turning on and accelerating the car sometimes doesn't go. It needs constant pumping of the gas pedal to begin proper acceleration.

Due to the fact a warning light has illuminated, you need to start with a code scan. This will lets us know if the ABS light is on as an additional issue, or if it is the main cause of...

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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...