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Q: Overheated

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My girlfriend was driving to work when her car overheated and started beeping. She pulled over and let it sit for a few minute and then started it up again and the gauge went back down to half way. Then about 30 yards down the road it overheated and beeped again. She said she smelt antifreeze. There was no fluid on the ground or in the car and no smoke coming out of the engine. I think it is the thermostat. Is it that or could it be something else. Please help.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This may be related to a failing or stuck thermostat or potentially an intermittent cooling fan operation resulting from a bad relay or switch. As you may know, when the thermostat is stuck closed, this does not allow coolant to circulate through the engine causing the overheating condition you describe. The same can happen when the cooling fans do not come on at the correct intervals. Check to see if you can hear them coming on regularly. If you need assistance, a certified YourMechanic technician can be dispatched to your location to help diagnose your car’s overheating issues and suggest any repairs.

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