Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car Overheating

asked by on

I just topped off my coolant, but my car temp is still getting very high and close to over heating within two miles of starting to drive. There is no noise from the water pump. Is is possible that I just need to replace the thermostat?

A: If your coolant level was really low and yo...

If your coolant level was really low and you added coolant you could have air trapped in the system that creates a block to normal circulation. There are little weep holes set high in the coolant "piping" that allow you to purge air as you add coolant. Normally, these are opened when you are refilling a totally empty system in order to avoid trapping air and creating a blockage.

A malfunctioning thermostat is a common cause of overheating but before you condemn the thermostat make sure radiator electric fan(s) are fully functional, radiator is not obstructed with external debris, radiator is not internally plugged with sludge, and you don't have a collapsed rubber coolant hose. There are some checks a mechanic can do to try to assess flow rate to see if thermostat is not open and/or radiator is plugged.

Note that if car is seriously overheating, you can easily cause significant damage to the engine via warping of the head and/or block. If it's overheating at all, the prudent thing is to not drive the car until it is repaired; that will help you avoid needless additional problems. YourMechanic can evaluate the overheating situation for you and will be pleased to do so.

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Radiator blew

This can happen for a number of reasons, however, the smoking and liquid leaking is a sign that your car has overheated. This can happen when the thermostat is not working properly or the coolant fans are not coming on...

Q: Car ran out of engine coolant

It may be possible that you have a bad coolant leak. It is also possible that the technician looked at the coolant overflow but didn't open the radiator cap. Engine damage could have been caused by the overheating, but you...

Q: Possible bad thermostat

Your problem could stem from various sources: the thermostat may be stuck, the system may be plugged, the fans may not work, or the engine head gasket may be blown. You might only need to replace the thermostat, however, a...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
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...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.