Q: Overheats after about 10 mins

asked by on January 13, 2017

My car has been overheating after about 10 minutes of driving. It used to take longer but now I can't really go anywhere without overheating to the point of shutting down. Because of that I haven't considered it safe to drive and so it's been sitting in my driveway for a few months, and now it won't start at all.

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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Overheating often has rather mundane causes such as a stuck cooling system thermostat, plugged radiator, inoperative water pump, or even simply a low coolant level. Consequently, you could probably get the overheating issue resolved rapidly by requesting an overheating diagnostic. As far as the present no start condition, if the battery is fully charged and the starter motor runs, the no start problem could be as simple as expired gasoline. If the gasoline has sat in a partially filled tank (i.e., tank is half full and has lots of air) for three or more months, it has gone bad. Gasoline has a relatively limited shelf life, measured in months, and quite literally once enough months have passed, you cannot start an engine with it. If three or more months have elapsed the fuel tank should be completely emptied and filled with fresh gas. At that point, the vehicle might start but you might also face the possibility of partially plugged fuel injectors and/or fuel filter depending on just how long the gas has sat in the vehicle and what the conditions were. In any event, the service to request to get the engine running is a no start diagnostic. The overheating and no start condition would, of course, both be addressed during the same visit because obviously the engine cannot be evaluated for overheating if it is not running.

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