Q: Car overheating and not starting

asked by on February 04, 2016

I replaced the belt in my car. Now, it is overheating and won't turn over. I think it might be the head gasket.

Car is overheating Inspection $79.99 - $99.99 Get a Quote

You certainly don’t see many Pontiac Torrents around. The 3.4L is a common engine, however, and I know it well. Since it doesn’t use a timing belt, I assume you must mean you replaced the serpentine belt. The only way I can see this being related to your overheating concern is if the belt was not properly installed. This is because the water pump is driven off the serpentine belt. If this is the case and the engine overheated as a result, the head gasket/cylinder head may have been damaged. Both can fail due to engine overheating. If the head gasket is blown, hydrocarbons (unburnt fuel) will be able to enter the cooling system. A block test is used to test for these exhaust gases and diagnose a failed head gasket. A qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, can diagnose and repair your car’s overheating issue promptly.

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


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $65/hr

What others are asking

code P1780

The code is for a possible problem with the transmission control switch on the shifter. The switch should be cycled during the scan test or it will set the code. If the code is still set then you will need...

Why is my key getting stuck in the ignition when turning off my car and being difficult to shift out of park?

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. The vehicle unable to shift out of park is the shifter lock solenoid. The solenoid has a short within in it or it has failed. Remove the shifter housing from the vehicle and turn...

Smoke keeps coming out of the hood when I am drive My 2005 Liberty Jeep and temperature gauge does not move to the right side

Hello. Sounds like you have a cooling system leak, and you have air inside the engines coolant passages. The engine will violently boil off the coolant inside the engine as you have observed. Let it cool, refill with coolant, turn...

Car is overheating and boiling water out. 2003 Hyundai Elantra

Hello - you may very well be correct. Given your symptoms, it sounds like you have a blown headgasket. This can be confirmed by checking for low compression between adjacent cylinders, white steam or smoke from the exhaust (smells sweet),...

Reduced Power and P0601 code is found in computer.

Hi there. The P0449 evaporative code is on for either an electrical circuit malfunction to the vent solenoid or the vent solenoid on the emissions circuit has failed. The P0601 code comes on when the computer can no longer register...

Belts squeal when starting, turning, and going in reverse.

This could be just a simple belt adjustment since you have multiple belts on your car. I do not see a belt issue when going into reverse but turning could be the power steering belt is loose. I would recommend...

My truck overheated - is it a bad water pump or something else?

The [water pump]https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/symptoms-of-a-bad-or-failing-water-pump) should definitely be evaluated. If you start the car cold, once engine temperature gauge reads in the normal range, check to see if radiator is hot. If radiator is cool and you have a new thermostat and...

Car overheating and leaking

It sounds like you have a coolant leak. The most common coolant leak I've seen on your vehicle make and model is the intake manifold. The intake manifold is made of plastic and cannot withstand high temperatures like metals can....

Keys won't turn ignition past position 1.

It sounds like there is a problem with your ignition switch. The ignition switch is what your key turns. It has 4 positions. Off, accessory, on or run, and start. It must be jamming and not allowing the key to...

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Electronic Ignition Pickup
If your car has an electronic distributor ignition system and the engine stalls or car does not start, you may have to replace the ignition pickup.
How Does a Push-Button Start Work?
For the vast majority of people, cranking your car involves getting the key out, sliding it into the ignition, and turning...
What Is the Purpose of Engine Gaskets?
Engine gaskets work as seals to maintain pressure, hold fluids, and prevent debris from entering the engine. Gaskets are vital for engine performance.