Q: Car overheated and now won't start

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I was driving home from work, and the car went hot. I let it cool for over 30 minutes and then started driving it again. It stopped after another 20 minutes of driving. All lights came on, and it slowed down and parked it. Two days later I tried restarting it again, and it makes a grinding noise but won't start.

If you drove the car until it quit, it is quite possible that the engine is ruined. Overheating warps the block and heads, and the piston rings lose their spring tension. Every time I have tried to patch together an overheated engine without total disassembly and inspection, it has come back to bite me. My advice would be to have a used engine installed by a credible shop if the rest of the car is in good shape and you want to keep it.

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