Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Overheating

asked by on

2008 Rx350 - coolant is draining after I fill it up. No huge puddle to indicate leakage. Car is running very hot within moments of starting car up almost pushing a notch away from the red zone. Squealing noise is being emitted but very faintly. Also I smell a sweet burnt syrup smell that is faint. 122,000 miles

My car has 9999999 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. This is a concern I’ve experience...

Hi there. This is a concern I’ve experienced many times while employed at a Lexus dealer. The low coolant level is contributing to the high operating temperature and is a direct result of a coolant leak. The smell you are experiencing is the coolant leaking to the outside of the engine and being burned off by the high temperature.

The squealing noise may be coolant leaking from the water pump onto the serpentine belt. A cooling system pressure test would be the best bet to locate the leak/leaks. If you are not seeing a puddle, the leak may be at what is called the engine block valley plate; located under the intake manifold and very difficult to see. However, I think there may also be a water pump leak as well causing the noise. The valley plate will leak into the middle of the engine block where the coolant will sit until it either burns off or overflows to the ground. YourMechanic has several available technicians to assist you with a coolant leak inspections, and water pump replacement (if needed), and can provide an estimate and direction for proper repair.

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!

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: Car overheats

VSC refers to vehicle stability control and any fault there can be diagnosed and repaired after the overheating and oil warning light are resolved. If the oil light you are seeing is the low oil pressure warning light, oil pressure...

Q: When I had my car serviced which included tire rotation, the air pressure light comes on a lot and the car does not ride as smooth

How lug nuts are tightened can vary shop to shop.The proper way to tighten them it to properly torque them to manufacturer's specifications. Some shops may use an impact gun to tighten them, then use a torque wrench by hand...

Q: Restarting a car from storage tips

Buy a brand new battery that is fully charged prior to installation so that you do not needlessly load the alternator. Change the engine oil and filter. Ideally, you should pressurize the oil system prior to starting, otherwise you will...

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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.