Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How do I stop my car from overheating?

asked by on

About two weeks ago, my car started having problems with warming up. It wouldn't warm up at all after idling and the heater wouldn't work. I had to go to work so I drove it anyway. I went and got an oil change, and things were fine for about 5 days. It was warming up ok. Then one night at a friends house I tried to start it, it tried to start but wouldn't, making a repetitive DUT DUT DUT DUT DUT sound. After waiting about 15 minutes it finally started and I made my way home, the car again, not showing a change on the temp gauge And this RED lightening sign popped up when I was almost home. The next day, it warmed up fine and I had no problem so I thought maybe it was just a weird thing that just happened randomly. NOW. Its overheating every time I try to drive it after only 5 minutes of driving, and I am having that RED lightening sign pop up. What do you think might be wrong? I NEED my car. We just had our first snow and I work and I need to get this figured out. PLEASE HELP!!!

My car has 113258 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Once the car is completely cool, check the ...

Once the car is completely cool, check the coolant level in the radiator. If low, that will cause overheating. If it is low, you might have a leak that should be diagnosed. If the level of coolant is correct and yet your vehicle was not warming up properly that is often a indication of a stuck open cooling system thermostat. However, now you are experiencing the opposite problem which is overheating. A stuck closed thermostat could cause that but so could a low coolant level, a non operational cooling fan, a partially plugged radiator, a faulty water pump, and other causes. The warning light you are referring to - the lightning bolt - signifies that there is a fault with the electronic throttle control (ETC) system. It is possible that the hard starting you experienced is a consequence of an ETC fault. What I would recommend is an overheating diagnostic(https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/car-is-overheating-inspection) as well as an inspection of the ETC system. With that the Mechanic will be able to identify the needed repairs and let you know of the cost to repair.

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: high idle on startup, 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche

Hey there, it looks like you already did a fair amount of work on this. Another thing that you should take a look at is the throttle body. You may have to clean out the throttle body and get the...

Q: Causes for heater to blow cold air

Hi...if you are referring to the passenger compartment heater, there are two possible causes of insufficient or no heat. The passenger compartment heater, also known as the "heater core", is essentially a mini radiator and the fluid running through this...

Q: Car wont starts but when it does it will stall and it is rough start

Hello, and thank you for writing in. When the vehicle sputters and struggles to run, it is typically an air, fuel, spark, or sensor issue. If you have the ability to scan it for diagnostic codes, there may be information...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...