Q: Car overheated on highway then died while I was coasting it to a stop.

asked by on

It overheated on the highway and died while coasting it to a stop. As soon as I noticed the temp gauge start to go up I turned on my heater which cooled it for only a minute till I could get it off the road but continued to go up again before I came to a full stop. I noticed it had a small puff of white smoke come out from under the hood. When I opened the hood I saw coolant all over the engine. I thought it was a thermostat issue but when I got it towed home I noticed that my radiator was cracked after I had let it cool down a few hours and tried putting coolant in it. The oil wasn't milky when I checked the dipstick but my neighbor said I blew a head gasket and he's probably right because that could account for the crack in my radiator. I might add here that I had on previous occasions noticed some hesitation during acceleration before this happened. I'm no expert and just need to know before I junk it if it could still be a blown head gasket even though the oil didn't look milky?

My car has 164000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thanks for writing in. While the cracked radiator and head gasket can be related, you are more concerned with the extend of the damage to the engine. The head gasket and radiator can be replaced, but the interior of the motor may be damaged beyond repair. You can start with a head gasket test, which can be done several ways. If the head gasket was blown, the engine can be inspected for other issues when it is replaced. Otherwise, you should replace the radiator and test the vehicle. The hesitation is a sign that there may have been an issue with the head gasket ahead of time, and you should be prepared for there to be an issue. Before making any decisions about the condition of the engine, you should have it inspected by a qualified technician.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car overheated on highway then died while I was coasting it to a stop.

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: Engine over-heating and Radiator then overflows fluid or steam.

First of all, overheating the engine will damage it. The list of reasons why is long, but here is a partial list of reasons why overheating the engine will ruin it. The engine oil becomes much thinner at...

Q: My car keeps blowing oil sending units

Hi there - I suspect you have a blown head gasket. Having coolant in the oil is a classic blown head gasket symptom, and having very high oil pressure means combustion pressure is being leaked into the oil passages. This...

Q: I have a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. How often do you recommend the changing of the timimg belt?

The tensioner and the timing belt should be replaced every 60,000 miles. This is an "interference" engine application which means that if the timing belt were to break when the engine is operating, the valves could interfere with the pistons...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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...