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

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car overheats

Overheating can be caused by something as simple as low coolant level, or something as major as a blown head gasket, or a crack in the cylinder head or block. The cooling system should never be checked if the engine...

Q: replaced the engine temp sensor and now the cooling fans wont turn on

Hello there, a few common faults will cause your cooling fans to not work after the temperature sensor was replaced on your 2003 Subaru Impreza. If the problems started right after the repair was made the replacement coolant temperature sensor...

Q: will an air compressor failure cause a diving issue

Hi there. The pulley bearing on the compressor may be bad and you might only need the new clutch and pulley if your A/C is still cold. You may not need the compressor unless the compressor is knocking inside in...

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...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
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.