Q: How do I stop my car from overheating?

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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.

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.

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