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: Car tries to start, but won't

There are a lot a possibilities for the engine not starting. It could be anything from a bad fuel pump, crank sensor, wiring problem, or a mechanical problem. A qualified mechanic from YourMechanic can come out to scan your engine's...

Q: Oil leaking all out under front end

It sounds like the oil pan ruptured or tore from an impact. The crankshaft is above the pan and probably is not damaged however there is an oil pick up tube and screen assembly in the lower oil pan area...

Q: I have a 2000 Chevrolet venture. It seems to run fine while driving down the road but when I come to a stop light it's stars out

Hi there. The first thing a mobile mechanic would do here is complete a car start then dies inspection on your Chevrolet Venture. This would allow them to scan your vehicle for any error codes, test drive the vehicle along...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...