Q: My car overheated and now won't start.

asked by on January 24, 2017

My boyfriend was driving home from school one day when the car started to overheat out of nowhere. He tried to drive to a safe place because he was on the highway but it died on him so he had to pull it over. He says he didn't see any smoke. When he tried to start the car back up it would crank but wouldn't turn over. He checked the engine and there was coolant everywhere so we believe it is the water pump. We check what was left of the coolant and oil and both of them are the color they should be and not dirty. He left the car and came back to dead battery. We finally got it home but we left it the garage for a month because at the time we didn't have the money to deal with it. Now we have charged the battery some and it still won't turn over but the lights come on in the car. It just makes a clicking sound. The fuilds are still normal. Our radiator is loose a little but he had hit a raccoon a few months earlier, it doesn't appear to be damaged.

My car has 80000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Do try to get the car running soon because once you get in the three month plus range, any gasoline in the vehicle’s fuel tank will go bad and that will create additional problems. Also, obviously, once you get the car running be sure to resolve the overheating problem, again to avoid further damage. To get the car running, ensure that you have a fully charged battery and then load test it. With a fully charged battery, if the starter motor does not run that signifies an electrical problem in the starter circuit or a problem with the starter motor itself. If there is power to the starter motor and yet it doesn’t run, the starter is condemned and replaced. Alternatively, if there is no power to the starter, or there is a big voltage drop anywhere on the circuit to the starter, then the circuit has to be traced until the fault in the circuit is found. Notably, faults can include high resistances, due to corrosion, wire strand breaks, or loose terminals, which can only be diagnosed using a voltage drop test. Regardless of what the underlying cause of the no start condition is, if you desire that a certified mechanic resolve this promptly, please simply request a no start diagnostic and the responding mechanic will get it diagnosed and repaired for you. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions as we are always here to help you.

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