Q: My minivan is overheating and there is brownish sludge in the coolant. I already got the water pump and the thermostat replaced.

asked by on November 14, 2016

My minivan is overheating. The temp gauge shoots to the red zone within 2-3 minutes of driving and the engine starts to stall. I checked the coolant reservoir, it is filled up but the coolant is brownish in color with rusty particles.

This issue surfaced about a week back, so, I took the van to a car mechanic. He fixed a couple of leaks in the cooling system, flushed the cooling system and also installed a new water pump and a thermostat. The mechanic tested it fine and I drove it fine for a week. But, now, a week later the exact same issue has resurfaced with the exact same symptoms.

I am not sure if the mechanic diagnosed the problem correctly in the first place. So, before I get ripped off again, I need some advice regarding what is the likely cause of this overheating problem? Thanks in advance.

My car has 179600 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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

What others are asking

brakes and they told her no pin on sway bar

Sway bars are responsible for keeping the vehicle level during cornering. If the vehicle did not have a sway bar, it would rock to whichever side is opposite of the direction you are turning. The sway bar provides stability for...

Why would my 2003 Chevrolet Impala stall and now it runs rough.

Hello. Though there are a lot of things that can cause this typically it is due to an issue with a failure in a spark plug or an ignition coil failure. If there is not a check engine light on...

Air conditioning not working - 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe

Hi there. I've run into this similar concern on several Chevrolet products. The freezing over that you were experiencing is usually cause by a low system charge, then followed by no cold air as the system charge continues to lower....

Truck won't shift out of reverse but the shifter is in park.

Hi there. There are two different things that could be happening. Either the shifter cable is broken and came off the shifter linkage on the transmission or the transmission rod inside the transmission pan that connects to the main valve...

Fuel line is clogged

The fuel lines should not get clogged, unless they got damaged in some way or the lines pinched when repairs were made, for example, if the fuel tank was removed and replaced. The fuel filter, fuel injectors, pressure regulator may...

The traction light is on but the button on the console says it's off. Is it safe to drive the car?

Your car should be safe to drive, however this suggests that you may have a traction control system problem. Your car is equipped with wheel speed sensors at each of the four wheels which monitor wheel speed while relaying this...

Transmission won't shift into park - 1988 Chevrolet S10

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. If your vehicle has a linkage, there should be an adjustment nut to adjust how long or short the linkage should be. Check for the nut and adjust the linkage to make the transmission...

Noticed a small spot on my driveway, I think I may have a tiny oil leak. Is it still ok to drive?

Hi there. A couple of small spots is sure sign that something is leaking. What color are the spots? If they are dark they could be engine oil, if red they could be transmission fluid. A leak is something that...

Hi Patrick, I was told by my machanic when my engine light sparked in that I need a oxegen sensor, and said that it has to be fixe

Oxygen sensors are tested using an automotive scope or oscilloscope. In your circumstance, if there are more than 100,000 miles on the sensor, the sensor output should be verified on a scope. The mechanic should show you the output waveform...

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Valve Cover Gasket
Common signs of a faulty gasket include a burning oil smell, dirty valve cover, oil leaks, low engine oil, and a rough-running engine that misfires.
Do I Need to Change My Motor Oil for Hot or Cold Weather?
Outside temperature can change how motor oil works. Multiviscosity motor oil makes it easy to keep your car running efficiently all year around.
Why Does Motor Oil Viscosity Matter?
Motor oil viscosity determines how thick or thin the oil is. Multiviscosity oils make it unnecessary to change your oil for different seasons.