Q: What causes my car to keep overheating?

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My car started overheating in May. Firestone & my brother said my fan wasn't coming on so Firestone replaced the fan. It started overheating again in late July. It cut off on me and kept getting hot. It would act alright for a few days then it started getting hot again. It cut off on me after it overheated and I got home one day. I had the car towed to Firestone again. This time my check engine light came on. They replaced the spark plugs and ignition wires, the rotor and distributor cap, the heater comtrol valve, the water valve, the thermostat & the thermostat gasket, and the radiator. They did a fuel & induction decarbonization K cleaning, then a coolant flush with sealer and conditioner and antifreeze. The car ran fine for about 2 weeks, now it is running hot again. Firestone says it is an internal problem. They could not find a cooling problem. It did not run hot while it was staying still and running in the shop. Today when it ran hot, the antifreeze never left the resevoir.

My car has 210927 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Thank you for writing in! Typically the thermostat and water pump are the primary sources of overheating on a 1997 Toyota Corolla. However, since the fluid never left the reservoir, it could be caused by a blockage in the coolant tubes; such as an air bubble. A good bet would be to have one of our local mechanics complete an overheating inspection. This would reduce the frustration of guessing and allow them to pinpoint the source of your issues; so that they could be fixed sooner rather than later.

Best of luck!

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