Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car overheated last Sat. on the highway.

asked by on

My car overheated on the highway last Sat. I checked the oil and it was fine. I let it cool down then drove it 10 miles to my house and parked it. 14 hours later I drove it and have been driving around town no problems. I do not need to get on the highway but I want to know about how long I can drive it until it starts overheating at a low speed. I have researched head gasket issues and I cannot figure out if it is a head gasket problem. It does not seem to me like I would be able to drive a car with a head gasket problem Help!!

My car has 170000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Of course, be sure it is not just a temperature sender and/or gauge malfunction. The most common causes of overheating include low coolant level, a faulty thermostat, a plugged radiator, a faulty radiator pressure cap, collapsed hoses, non functioning cooling fans, and a faulty water pump or drive belt. Certain engine faults, such as a leaking head gasket or poor engine running condition can also cause overheating. To answer your question as to the likely course from here on out if you do nothing, that depends on exactly what the fault is. It is better to get it fixed particularly if the problem were to turn out to be as simple as a malfunctioning engine cooling thermostat. If you desire that this problem be diagnosed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an engine overheating diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. My car overheated last Sat. on the highway.

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: Looking to upgrade header.

Hello. Typically having water in the headers is not a good sign. If the vehicle is not driven much then condensation can build up in them from short periods of running the engine. If the vehicle is driven often and...

Q: No hot air from heaters

This may be due to a faulty heater blower motor or potentially a bad heater core. As you may know, the heater core is a small radiator like unit that circulates the hot coolant from the engine through the heater...

Q: Engine overheating - 2009 Buick Lucerne

Hello. The thermostat is located inside the housing opposite the engine water pump. The radiator hose and housing must be removed to gain access and new coolant should be added when the work is done. I recommend having an expert...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...
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...