Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Overheating engine

asked by on

I have a vauxhall corsa design, 2007 and I was having issues with my coolant level for a few weeks. The coolant ran out every other day and when I took it to a mechanic, they did a pressure test and discovered a leak. 2 leaks actually. 1 was my oil and the other was my coolant. This was 2 weeks ago. I had the same issue a weak later and the same mechanic discovered another leak which was smaller. That's his excuse for not seeing it the first time. Overall I've spent a lot of money and I feel they may be ripping me off, hence why I'm asking you. He then told me I'll need to replace my heating hose as it is wearing away. But I said I'll do that another time. Now I am still experiencing an overheating engine because it flashes the thermometer symbol on the dash board and now smoke comes out as well. My heater is working fine; however, my coolant has not run out and is no where near finished. I don't know what is going on and I don't want to waste anymore money on a mechanic. Please help!

My car has 800000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: If the vehicle is presently overheating, yo...

If the vehicle is presently overheating, you want to check, and perhaps just replace, the cooling system thermostat (thermostats are not costly and they do eventually fail), check the radiator for blockages (radiators can be flow tested) and check the water pump to make sure it is actually turning at engine speed (i.e., is the drive belt properly tensioned?). Overheating, if severe enough, can lead to leaks at the cylinder head gasket. If you are seeing white smoke in the exhaust, that could indicate a head gasket leak. Check the engine oil to see if there is any evidence of water/antifreeze contamination. Other possible causes of engine overheating are a malfunctioning radiator (and/or a/c condenser) electric cooling fan, radiator obstructions (external), dragging brakes, and engine operating conditions such as retarded ignition timing, or excessively lean fuel air ratio. If a deteriorated coolant hose has been detected, and you can see evidence of the deterioration as pointed out by the mechanic, you should get that replaced. As far as the small leak, as leaks are repaired in a sealed system, pressure is restored to the normal, "design" level. As such, additional places could leak, even as they were not leaking before, simply because design pressure is restored throughout the system and that may very well explain the belated appearance of the small leak. The thing to do at this point is make sure the smoke doesn't represent loss of coolant through the head gasket into the combustion chamber. If it does, the head gasket has to be replaced prior to any other repairs such as replacement of the thermostat. If YourMechanic serves your region, a certified professional from YourMechanic can diagnose the cause(s) of your engine overheating and let you know of the required repairs. Please let us know how we can further assist 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!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Fail safe Mode engaged with the engine shaking. Possible over revving of the engine

Your vehicle is in limp mode to prevent engine damage from the overheating. I suggest you let the motor cool for a while before trying to drive it again, if at all. I also suggest having a certified technician, like...

Q: Grinding noise on startup on a 2001 Vauxhall Corsa

Most of the time it is a bad starter motor. Starter motors are cheap. Take it off, put another starter motor and hope that the noise goes away. If the noise continues, a lot of times it's the flywheel teeth...

Q: Panel lights on with ignition off

Hello. From what you describe it would appear that you are having some sort of electrical or wiring issue. A few things I would check are the ignition switch, the clutch / neutral safety switch, and the associated relays and...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.