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Q: Overheating while idle

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When I drive my car on the freeway, it doesn't overheat at all. However, when it's parked and running it overheats. It can just be 10 minutes and it'll zoom up. What's wrong with it?

My car has 181000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: From what you’re describing, it sounds like...

From what you’re describing, it sounds like the cooling fan is not operating or is turning too slow. Check to see if the electric cooling fan is coming on. If it isn’t coming on when your temperature climbs or the a/c is on, then you need to have the fan or fan relay diagnosed to see which one has failed. On some vehicles the coolant fan sensor fails to activate the relay. If you need assistance with this, I’d recommend having a certified mechanic inspect these components in order to fix your overheating problem.

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