Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Having some serious coolant problems

asked by on

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.

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: Headlights don't work - 2006 Mitsubishi Raider

Hello. The power to the headlamp fuse needs to be checked first. It is located in the fuse box under the hood. Most of the time though, this is not caused by a fuse. The most common issue is the...

Q: Car won't turn over or start.

Since remote starters were not factory options, there is an aftermarket system in your vehicle. I would start there. If you can find out who the manufacturer of the system is, contact them to see if a wiring diagram is...

Q: Truck stalls while driving, already replaced cam pos. sensor any other ideas?

You should have the system data checked to see if you have a loss of fuel pressure or a problem with the throttle position sensor. Even though you do not have codes does not mean you are not able to...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.