Why Does My Car Engine Over Heat After Driving A Few Miles?

Reader Question

Hi Austin,

I have a 1985 Pontiac Fiero with a 2.5L 4cyl. engine with an auto transmission that is overheating after being driven for a while. The coolant is being blown out of the reservoir tank and is not being pulled back into the radiator.

It does this with or without the thermostat in it. The cooling system has been flushed, new water pump installed and a new radiator cap and thermostat housing cap installed. Also have noticed that after being driven, the pressure in the system does not bleed off and will not pull any coolant back into the system from the overflow tank.

I have “burped” the system several times from both the radiator and the thermostat caps. Any suggestions?

Thank you,


Hey there Chuck

I HIGHLY suspect you have a restriction in the bottom of the radiator caused by rust or calcium build up, and you need a new radiator. Install a new thermostat once you replace the radiator.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Over Heating

3 Comments on "Why Does My Car Engine Over Heat After Driving A Few Miles?"

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  1. lily says:

    Hi I have a 2000 honda civic dx and couple of days ago it just started to overheat. What should I do if my car engine is overheating? And on Saturday when I turned on my car it has the check engine light on.

    • admin says:

      First thing is to determine WHEN it is overheating.

      1. Overheating at slow engine speeds, at stop signs and with the A/C on at stops usually indicates a bad electric cooling fan motor up near the radiator.
      2. Overheating at freeway speeds only, or at fast speeds but not at slow speeds usually points to a restriction in the radiator and a new radiator is the answer.
      3. Overheating all the time, most likely a coolant leak and there is not enough coolant in the radiator

      I always start with a cooling system pressure test first to determine if there is a leak, either internal to the engine like a head gasket or an external leak like a hose or water pump etc.

  2. Matt says:

    i had a similar problem…my taurus overheated all the time…new radiator, hoses, flush system, cap…well, it turned out to be the fins on the water pump were gone!!! The original owner put in that product to loosen all the scale and deposits in your water jackets and radiator and just left it in!!…That would have been the last thing i would have checked since there was no seepage out of the water pump weep hole…but as others before me advise, check the obvious…hoses, thermostat, radiator, etc….good luck…Matt

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