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

asked by on January 05, 2016

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.

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