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.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Temperature Warning light still coming on

The temperature warning light comes on when your engine is overheating, or close to overheating. The cooling system is designed to keep the engine at the proper operating temperature. If any component in this system fails, overeating may result. This...

Q: Would I have to completely replace the the pcm and pats system to replace the transceiver behind the key?

All you have to do is go to the dealer and have them reprogram the PATS system to work with the new keys. This will be a lot less to get done than what all the replacement parts will cost...

Q: Check engine light

Hi There, The [oxygen sensors]((https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/oxygen-sensor-replacement) which are part of your emissions system read exhaust gases to determine whether or not the appropriate amount of oxygen is present in the exhaust. Based upon this reading, this information is relayed to the...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...