Q: Car overheated while idling. What is wrong

asked by on

A few weeks ago, my husband was idling in a parking lot. It was a hot night and he said that the car overheated. We could not reproduce the problem, but since then I have been watching the temperature gauge. Today, I was in a drive thru and while waiting in line, the temp sensor went up and alarmed. I smelled antifreeze, but air-conditioning still worked. I turned the car off and back on when I needed to move forward. I kept turning the car off and on until I could get out of the line. Once I was able to leave the drive thru, I noticed that the sensor went down to normal operating levels as I drove. When I parked in my driveway (less than 2 miles from drive thru) the level was below the half level mark. While idle in the driveway, it went up a notch to the midline (where it normally operates). I then turned it off.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are a few faults that will cause your 2013 Hyundai Elantra to overheat when idling. The most common would be the electric fans not functioning. When air is flowing over the radiator the car works fine, but when the car is idling the electronic fans are supposed to come on to move air across the radiator. If you need assistance with this, a qualified technician such as one from YourMechanic will be able to diagnose your overheating issue firsthand and replace your cooling fans as necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car overheated while idling. What is wrong

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: EPS light stays on 2008 Hyundai Elantra

Hi there - your car uses electrically-assisted power steering, which is failing. There is a Recall issued for this problem (15V100000) from Hyundai. Have your vehicle repaired by Hyundai as soon as possible - since this problem will only become...

Q: 2013 Honda Pilot - USB connection say "Connection Error" I tried several different USB sizes and types. Please Help

From what I can find, you can only use a flash drive with the FAT 32 format. I haven't been able to find any information as to whether Honda has offered a firmware or software update to allow more of...

Q: Car overheats and air stays hot

Since I don't know the vehicle's make and model or the engine type, here is a general diagnosis of what the cause typically is on most vehicles: The cooling fans might not be coming on, or the radiator could be...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...