Q: Overheating - 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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This just started within the last week. When I drive, especially in the evenings, the temperature tends to rise on my car. Usually it only happens if I have to sit at a light or several for a few minutes and if I have to wait long while picking up my son. Usually, turning off the AC and running (not idling) it will help bring the temperature down some. Since it doesn't get overheated until we're close to home, I haven't been left stranded but I need to know what is wrong so I can get it fixed before we have a real problem.

The coolant is full.

My car has 128637 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hey there. When the car is stone cold (for your safety), check the level of coolant in the radiator and plastic reservoir, too. If the coolant level is full, a typical cause of this kind of overheating is a bad thermostat (not opening and closing as it should) but other possibilities do have to be considered such as a partially blocked radiator, faulty radiator cooling fans, collapsed radiator hose, faulty radiator cap, and even other non-cooling system causes, such as dragging brakes. An engine that is not operating properly (certain engine malfunctions as well as exhaust restrictions will cause overheating). If you want to have this all scoped out for you, a certified technician from YourMechanic, can come to your car’s location to diagnose the overheating problem and follow through with repairs.

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