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Q: Having some serious coolant problems

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My vehicle I'm constantly adding coolant in my car and when I drive or stuck in traffic it overheats seeing steam coming from the hood..I could also smell coolant and its dripping when I park. I was wondering is it the holes or should I change the coolant reservoir.

My car has 140779 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. If the car is overheating severely, ...

Hello. If the car is overheating severely, the heads and/or block will warp and the engine will have to be rebuilt. Best not to drive it if you know it is overheating. If you are continually replacing coolant but it overheats even when just refilled, there is obviously some issue with either the thermostat, the radiator, radiator fans, or other components including components that are not "part" of the cooling system.

A worst case scenario is exhaust gases are escaping through a blown head gasket into the coolant causing BOTH the overheating and enough pressure to just keep blowing coolant out the cap or reservoir, thus explaining why you have to keep refilling it. On the other hand, if you are lucky, you may have a bad thermostat and a simple external leak in, say, a hose.

As usual, the situation will have to be diagnosed after which you will have, in hand, an estimate of what any required repairs would cost. Again, I encourage you to not drive a vehicle with such a serious malfunction. If you intend to keep the car, you want to avoid doing additional damage so as to keep repair costs as low as possible in the long run. If you need a local expert to inspect the overheating problem, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your location to check the car and advise you on repairs.

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