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Car Overheated and Won’t Start – Why? How to Fix?

  • Car Services
  • Nova Kainen
  • 7 minutes

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Have you ever been driving down the road when your car overheated and now won’t start? You should have an understanding of what to do when you notice that your car is getting overheated. In this blog, you will know the various reasons for this and what measures you should take to avoid this happening to you.  

car overheated now won't start

Why does your car overheat and won’t start?

There are various reasons for the overheating of your car, and by the time you notice the temperature rise, it usually will be too late. So even before getting into such a situation, it’s good to know the factors responsible for this temperature rise so that you can take measures accordingly. 

Blown gaskets

If a blown head gasket prevents your automobile from starting, you’re in a tough financial situation. If your engine ever overheats, a steel head gasket will be less likely to expand than an aluminum one. So, an aluminum head gasket will expand and blow considerably more quickly than a steel one. 

How to fix

When your automobile overheats, check its engine compression before tearing it down to replace the head gasket. If the blue liquid in a test tube turns yellow, it signifies the head gasket is blown. If the color doesn’t change, you don’t need a new head gasket. 

The cost of fixing the car can quickly escalate if there are further problems.  You need to decide whether it’s better to keep the car and risk additional expensive repairs than just getting rid of it. 

Leaking coolants

If your car overheats and now won’t start, the problem is almost certainly a leaking coolant hose or radiator. The engine overheating may be either the direct or indirect outcome of the coolant leak. A coolant leak might be brought on by worn hoses, a broken radiator, or loose hose clamps. 

How to fix

Find out what’s triggering the coolant leak, then correct it at its source. A blown head gasket, a leaky hose, loose hose clamps, or a malfunctioning radiator are all possibilities. Check it out yourself, or have a mechanic have a look. 

Cracked or melted cylinder heads

Low coolant levels, leaks, engine roughness, misfiring, overheating, and coolant and oil mixing are all signs of a damaged cylinder head. 

How to fix

Have your vehicle checked by a mechanic and replace the cylinder head if needed. 

Faulty thermostat

Normally, the thermostat will open as the engine temperature rises. However, when it malfunctions, it fails to open when the engine heats up and remains closed. If the engine is overheating, it may be due to a defective thermostat, which would explain why the vehicle won’t start. Inaccurate temperature readings and frequent temperature swings further show a malfunctioning thermostat. 

How to fix 

Replace the faulty thermostat with a working thermostat, which is not too costly. If you are having difficulty replacing it, get help from a professional. 

Melted or warped electronic sensors

Overheating the engine might cause damage to these sensors, making it impossible to start the vehicle. 

 A malfunction in the vehicle’s electronic sensors may cause the vehicle’s overheating and inability to start. 

How to fix 

The sensors should be inspected for any signs of damage. You should take it to a repair shop so the mechanic can replace all the broken sensors. You can get your automobile back on the road by replacing all the faulty sensors. 

Damaged fuel system 

When an automobile overheats, the fuel system usually suffers damage and won’t allow the engine to turn over. Problems with fuel circulation might arise if the engine overheats, producing unwanted heat and vapor. This prevents the engine from functioning as intended.  

The fuel pressure damper, fuel pressure regulator, fuel injectors, and fuel lines are all potential sources of the engine overheating and failing to start. As an illustration, if the car’s gasoline lines are excessively hot, fuel could evaporate into the pipes, making it difficult to start the engine. 

How to fix 

Modern fuel injectors are designed to maintain constant pressure in the gas tank. If you are driving a newer model and are still experiencing the age-old problem of a car that has overheated and will not start, you better get your vehicle checked by a mechanic. 

Other reasons for the car overheating and why it won’t start are a dead battery, faulty drive belt, damaged water pump, malfunctioning cooling fans, burst hoses, warped or melted wires, and loose radiator cap.  

Perform a regular check of your vehicle to ensure it is in good working condition. 

Also read: How Hot Can Car Exhausts Get?

What measures should you take when your car overheats

Take the following measures when you find that your vehicle is overheating: 

  • Turn off the AC 
  • Find an ideal spot, turn off the engine, and stop the car. 
  • Check the coolant level and if there is no leak, add coolant. If there is a leak, get help from a professional, as it is a serious issue. 
  • Start the car once the issue is solved, or get the vehicle towed if the issue persists. 

What are some signs of an overheated car?

Here are some noticeable signs indicating that your car is getting overheated. 

  • Hot steam coming out from under the hood 
  • Strange smells include a burnt smell indicating oil leakage, a sweet smell indicating coolant leakage, or burning oil smells. 
  • Variations in the engine temperature gauge indicator. 

What should you avoid when the car overheats? 

When you see your car overheating, you may become anxious and make matters worse. Here are a few things you should not do while the car is overheating. 

Continue driving 

This is one of the dangerous actions you take when you see your vehicle getting overheated. Remember that if you continue driving, the engine gets overheated, and the situation worsens. 

Preventing the engine from cooling down 

When you see that the car is overheating, you will normally tend to open the car hood right away by doing so, causing injuries to yourself. Always allow some time for the engine to cool down before taking action. 

Refusing to deal with the core issue 

When their automobile unexpectedly overheats, many people simply top up the coolant and keep driving. While that may help in the short term, if the issue keeps coming back, you shouldn’t keep doing that.  

Repeated occurrences point to a deeper engine problem that must be addressed. It could become a much greater issue if it’s not fixed correctly. Taking the automobile in for service will allow the mechanic to diagnose and fix the real issue. 

Bottom line 

Now that you know the most common causes and solutions as to why your car gets overheated and won’t start. So, the next time you or someone you know comes across such a situation, you should be able to deal with the situation wisely.  

Get your vehicle checked periodically by a mechanic to avoid such adverse situations.

car overheated now won't start


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