Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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.

A: There are a few faults that will cause your...

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 1000 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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Loose sun visors, worried about them blocking my view

Sun visors are needed to block sun from the driver’s eye and should be repaired for safety purposes. Hyundai is not the only one with sun visor issues. Most modern day sun visors are made from plastic and foam. Due...

Q: I try to start the car by the jump box. I had the cables in the wrong way so now it's not working

sent to CS.

Q: How do I select a mode with the automatic climate controls?

The automatic climate control system has four available modes for when you are operating the climate control manually: face level (air is directed towards your face), floor level (air is directed towards your feet), bi-level (air is directed towards both...

Related articles

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.