Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine overheating and won't start

asked by on

My car started smelling of gas during driving. The temperature gauge was going higher until it was on hot, at which point I stopped the car. It started smoking so I let it cool down for a while. When I tried to start it up, it wouldn't. The vehicle has a lot of antifreeze in it. According to the mechanic, there is no compression. He added engine oil and thinks it might be the bad engine, the water pump or a blown head gasket. Any advice?

A: There are many potential causes for engine ...

There are many potential causes for engine overheating, a failed water pump being one of them. Allowing your engine to overheat even once can result in catastrophic engine damage. It sounds like this is what may have happened to your engine. Another possibility is that the water pump failed, causing your timing belt to break and your engine to loose compression.

In your vehicle, the water pump is driven off of the timing belt. If the water pump is seized, the timing belt may break causing your vehicle to die. If your vehicle has no compression on any of the cylinders, this would be my first guess. Unfortunately, your vehicle has what’s referred to as an interference engine. When the timing belt breaks, the valves inside the engine contact the pistons, ruining the engine.

If you’d like a second opinion on the problem, I suggest you give the team at YourMechanic a call. They will be able to make a diagnosis of your car starting issue at your home, and make any needed repairs to get your car back on the road.

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: Engine problems.

Hello. From what you describe it would appear that your vehicle is experiencing some serious performance and maybe even mechanical issues. If you believe the noise is coming from your turbo area it may be possible that the turbo is...

Q: Driver's side CV joint noise

Hi there. The sound is more like a differential sound that is making a click sound. There seems to be too much free play on the gear train inside the transmission. This is determined by only the sound occurring when...

Q: Tire noise while driving

Several things come to mind. Have the tires always been noisy? did it happen gradually, or all of a sudden? Some tires are noisy even when new. Winter tires or aggressive all-seasons will be louder than a touring tire. Poor...

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...
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.