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Q: Car overheated while idling. What is wrong

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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.

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