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Q: Hi, my daughters 2005 Ford Freestyle overheated taking my grandson to school this morning.

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Friends said it could be a stuck thermostat, my problem is, we have no tools, or experience. Nor the money that shops charge. She's a single mother of 2 little boys. She drove maybe 7 miles round trip to drop soon off at school and it over heated. No warning lights on dash came on. It's there a simple way to check and see if it's plugged up? And how much would you charge?

My car has 216000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: First off, to avoid going from the frying p...

First off, to avoid going from the frying pan into the fire, if the car is overheating be sure to not drive it any further. Active (known) overheating has the potential to cause lots of additional problems, like a warped cylinder head or engine block, damage to the manifolds and so forth, so much so that a thermostat replacement, by the way) no matter how "costly" (it typically is not costly at all on a mobile basis will look really attractive).

Overheating can be caused by a plugged radiator, non functioning fans, collapsed hoses, poorly driven water pump, broken pump impeller, dragging brakes, lean engine misfiring and on and on.

A quick and dirty check for a totally blocked thermostat is to start car and let it reach operating temperature. Using an infrared temperature gauge check radiator temperature; if it's tepid, then yes, good chance there is no flow to radiator due to thermostat blockage. Of course, shut down car promptly.

If it is the thermostat, such is an affordable repair on a mobile basis and I encourage you to simply schedule a diagnostic on the overheating issue to confirm and a certified technician from YourMechanic will be glad to get you all squared away. Let us know if any additional concerns arise.

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