Q: Car keeps overheating

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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.

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.

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