Q: Engine overheating and won't start

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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?

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.

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