Car overheated on highway then died while I was coasting ...

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

asked by on August 06, 2017

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

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

Car overheats, usually in the stop and go traffic

The problem may be due to the hydraulic cooling fan not working intermittently. There is a technical bulletin number 1-21-11 that says to replace the cooling fan hydraulic motor, which should correct the overheating problems. Your fan may work but...

I was told I have oil coming through the air intake does that mean I need a new engine??

If your PCV valve is clogged then you may get excessive blow by of combustion gases and oil into the intake system. You should have the PCV valve replaced and intake cleaned out of oil. If problem continues then you...

The car won't start

There are several possible causes for a vehicle to crank and not start. There could be a bad fuel pump, faulty plugs, bad timing belt/chain, faulty ignition, failed camshaft/crankshaft sensor, or any number of other possible causes. It would first...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Have 3 or More Kids
If If you have three or more kids, you could probably get by with a mid-size sedan if all you want to do is take them from Point A to Point B. Realistically, though, having kids means music lessons, athletics,...
How to Replace a Car Radiator
Car radiators remove heat from coolant after it's cycled through the car engine. Cars overheat and damage is caused without a functioning radiator.
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Get Motion Sickness
For For people that suffer from motion sickness, even on the shortest car trip, riding in a vehicle can prove to be unbearable. What’s great is that there are a number of cars on the market that can help to...