Q: Car overheating with smell

asked by on February 07, 2017

So my car was overheating and had an awful smell. I stopped my car for about 10 minutes and everything went back to normal and was perfectly fine. I checked my coolant level and it was full. Should I worry even if the problem stopped?

My car has 96000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Based on what you are describing it would seem unlikely that this was a one-off incident. When a car engine overheats, there is definitely an underlying cause and, in your circumstance, that could be something going on with the water pump drive belt or maybe the thermostat or radiator cap is failing. At any rate, overheating is really bad for engines because overheating can warp the cylinder head and/or engine block causing costly damage. So, be watchful going forward and if the overheating recurs, be sure to stop the engine right away. Broadly, the most common causes of overheating include low coolant level, a faulty thermostat, a plugged radiator, a faulty radiator pressure cap, collapsed hoses, non functioning cooling fans, and a faulty water pump or drive belt. Certain engine faults, such as a leaking head gasket or poor engine running condition can also cause overheating. If you desire that this problem be diagnosed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an engine overheating diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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