Q: Car overheating and there is no cabin heat while at idle.

asked by on December 31, 2016

Car overheats when foot is off gas. When I stop at a light or park the car, the engine gets hot (temperature needle is at 'H' mark. Also, when I stop, I lose heat inside the car. It starts blowing cool air. As soon as I step on the gas, hot air starts to come through the vents again. The cars temperature gauge will top out for example, when parked after I've been driving for 15 minutes. If I rev the engine, the temperature gauge will instantly drop down.

I have had a repair shop replace the water pump, thermostat, bleed air out of the cooling system, do a chemical test for leaking head. The heat sensor was also replaced because the fan wasn't kicking on while idling. But still the car is overheating. I can drive the car on the highway for over an hour and the temperature gauge needle sits around the 3/4 mark between middle and top (H). As soon as I get off the highway the temperature gauge maxes out. There is no sign of coolant loss either.

My car has 100000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Radiator Replacement $300.62 - $1239.51 Get a Quote

Hi there. Check the radiator to the vehicle. It seems that the cooling system is working, but the radiator is restricting the coolant flow. This is why when you step on the gas pedal the coolant temperature drops. I recommend flushing the radiator or even replacing the radiator if its still not cooling after a flush. Your heat in the vents will get warm when there is coolant flowing and with a plugged radiator there is no flowing coolant to the heater core. If you need further assistance with your cooling system, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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

What others are asking

toyota Tacoma truck won’t start

If you are referring to stalling that occurs after releasing the service brake (as opposed to the parking brake), a possibility is a vacuum leak in the power brake booster. If manipulating the parking brake has an effect on lighting,...

RPM

Claimed by Jeff Engstrom

Glove box latch broken, pull glove box out and fix it!

Hi there. Open up the glove box and remove all the stuff inside it. Then use a small screwdriver and remove the clips by pulling them towards the rear of the car and then turn them into the glove box....

coolant bursts out of tank

I'm afraid the news will not be good. The symptoms you are describing points towards the head gasket(s). The gasket fails in between cylinders on the engines, I have seen them do this. When the gasket fails, pressure from the...

Car losing coolant fast.

Hello, if you don't see any exterior leaks, then you most likely have a blown head gasket. Pull your engine oil dipstick and see if it looks like oil or chocolate milk. If it looks like chocolate milk the gasket...

Truck computer not recognizing key.

The Ford PATS (Passive Ant-Theft System) will react like this when the key is not recognized. The key not being recognized could be one of 3 factors, bad key, faulty PATS antenna ring, or a faulty PATS computer. Try all...

My wheel bearings are making noise.

Hey there, thank you for asking about your 1996 Ford Contour. If your wheel bearings are noisy then you should have them checked to see which one is bad and replace the bearings. The front axle bearings are part of...

Changed battery and the fuel pump and car still slow to start. When it does start it shuts off without warning. Fuel filter is fine.

Hi there. The battery could be dead even though it has a full charge. There could be a dead cell or an over charged cell. Have the battery checked with a load tester. This will place a load on the...

My 2000 Chevy Tahoe has a few messages. It says reduced engine power & ending service soon, What could the issue be?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The check engine light, reduced power light, and general loss of power are very likely all connected to one or two simple issues. Luckily with the check engine light on, the computer has detected...

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Water Pump
Common signs include coolant leaks at the front-center of the car, loose water pump pulley, overheating engine, and steam coming from the radiator.
How Long Does a Radiator Drain Cock Last?
Your Your car’s coolant system is one of the most critical on the entire vehicle. Without it, the engine would quickly overheat, causing devastating damage. Coolant is cycled from the radiator, through the hoses, past the thermostat, and around the...
Is it Safe to Drive With a Cracked Radiator?
The radiator in your vehicle is used for cooling the internal combustion of the engine. Coolant is passed through the engine block, the heat...