Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Loss of power, likes to run hot and occassionally get close to overheating

asked by on

Before a cross-country road trip, changed radiator fan and motor mount but left cracked radiator alone until it failed on the road / overheated with lots of smoke. Changed radiator, still overheating. Changed thermostat, still overheating. Finally car started losing power and now wondering if it's the water pump or did the overheating (almost went to the "H" many times); cause permanent damage? Why wouldn't 4 different mechanics recommend changing the water pump from the beginning?

My car has 108000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Most importantly, you need to understand, t...

Most importantly, you need to understand, that when the engine overheats and the coolant level gets low, the sensor that relays the temperature to the gauge is reading the temperature of the air in the engine. The sensor normally reads the coolant temperature, but when the coolant level is too low, it gets its its temperature signal from the air instead. The air temperature will typically much lower than that of the coolant, and therefore, the actual coolant temperature can be much higher.

Repeatedly overheating the engine can cause serious engine damage, such as a warped cylinder head, blown head gasket, or any of several other possible issues. It would be best to have a certified mechanic, such as those available at YourMechanic, do some diagnostics to identify why the vehicle is still overheating and make the repairs that are necessary.

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

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: How do I check and refill the window washer fluid?

Window washer fluid helps keep your windshield clean and clear of debris. It ensures that your wipers are able to remove grime, dirt, dust, and even oil and other fluids that get onto the windshield from the road. Of course,...

Q: A large clunking noise is coming from the front left of my car anytime I start my car, and anytime I go over a pothole/speedbump

Hi, thanks for writing in. If simply starting your car causes a clunk, then you may have another damaged motor or transmission mount (there are 4 total). You should replace all 4 mounts. When one mount fails, it allows excess...

Q: What are the effects or symptoms of bad fuel injectors?

Hello. A bad fuel injector can fail closed, fail open or not seal when closed and can work normal but have reduced flow from blockage. A fuel injector that is failed closed will cause total misfire all the time on...

Related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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...