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Q: Overheating engine

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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.

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