Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car overheated and battery light came on, now car won't start.

asked by on

I was driving to work and heard a sound like gravel being turned for about 20-30 seconds. Shortly after that my battery light came on and the temperature of the engine started to go up very quickly. The clock and heat went out as well, though the headlights and radio stayed on. I checked under the hood after I got to work and the vehicle had time to cool off. The coolant top had popped off and all the coolant was gone. I went to to start my car later and it wouldn't turn on, however, the battery light was still on.

It sounds like you have had a failure of one of the belt driven accessories under your hood. The pulleys attached to you engine have bearing in them so they can spin freely. When one of these bearings fail you can hear a sound of gravel being turned as you described. It is then possible that the belt could be damaged to the point where it slips off or breaks. This will cause your water pump to stop circulating coolant in your engine which could cause it to overheat and blow off your radiator cap. It will cause your alternator to stop charging your battery so you could lose electrical power and turn the battery light on. I would ask for help from a mechanic to check your serpentine belt system for any issues and make the necessary repairs.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car overheated and battery light came on, now car won't start.

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: I am looking for a sunroof

Hi there: Unfortunately, the replacement sunroof business for vehicle's 20 years old is not as open as most auto part replacement items. Your best bet is to search locally on Ebay.com if you're in the United States, or through local...

Q: Passenger's side seat stuck.

I would ask for some assistance from one of the mechanics at YourMechanic to help get your seat fixed. It is possible that the cable you are talking about has come out of place again.

Q: Recently replaced the TPS but still get code P0122, what causes this low voltage?

Code P0122 may also indicate that you may have loose or poor connectivity to the throttle position sensor itself or potentially not enough voltage being supplied from the ECM. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your...

Related articles

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...
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.