My car has been overheating badly. I took it to Auto Zone and hooked it up to the check engine tool and they said it was getting to 207 withing 10 seconds. It gets hot fast and my heat doesn't work unless you drive like 80 and you can smell antifreeze bad.

They said it could be my etc sensor or a faulty thermostat. But I changed the thermostat and bled it and it still gets hot.

What else could be causing the overheating issues?

  • Are you sure there's antifreeze in the engine, and not just water?
    – MDMoore313
    Nov 13, 2013 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


Because of the antifreeze smell, I suspect a leak in your cooling system. Get yourself a radiator pressure tester. ($70 from Amazon or $80 from Harbor Freight or even make your own). Pressurize your radiator and see a) if you are losing pressure, and b) where the coolant/air is escaping when you pressurize the system.

Another possibility is that your cooling system is still sealed, but coolant isn't circulating properly. (The antifreeze smell could be because the cap releases excess pressure when hot, as it should.) Because you already changed the thermostat and bled the system, the remaining causes of non-circulation include a failed water pump which usually (but doesn't always) leaks, and a clogged or worn out radiator.

Finally, does the radiator fan come on when your car heats up? The electric fan motor can eventually burn out. Test that by hooking up a wire between the battery positive and the fan motor positive terminal, which should make the fan spin.


If there is liquid under the car it could very well be a bad water pump. If the water pump isn't working, coolant won't be sent. Be sure to check for leaks around the water pump. Also look around all the radiator hoses, if a clamp cut through the hose or its loose you could be loosing necessary pressure.

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