By December 9, 20110 Comments Read More →

Chevy Impala Engine Overheating

Reader Question

My question today involves my car, a 2001 Chevrolet Impala.

A few days ago while I was driving my car, I noticed that my needle for my
coolant level began to rise into the Red Zone[hot coolant temp light came
on] so I parked it & had a friend to come & look at it. I was out of town &
afraid to drive it home acting that way. When he checked it out, I was told
that it was just my thermostat. He had put antifreeze in it & driven it w/
no change, so that’s when he decided it was my thermostat.

He told me it was a very easy procedure in replacing it, so I trusted him to
do so. But once he put the thermostat on, my car began to drive even worse
than before. It shook & rattled & white smoke was coming out of the
tailpipe. not to mention it wouldn’t stay running & i had no brakes really.

I had my car towed in to an actual mechanic shop & they replaced a throttle
gasket & vacuum tube for me. I thought the problem would be fixed. But as
soon as I drove my car away.. less than 5 minutes later, the needle was
right back to rising into the Red Zone & i was once again afraid it would

The problems that came about by the non-mechanic i allowed to touch my car
disappeared when the auto repair shop replaced the tube & throttle gasket.
It drives normally again except for the small fact that it continues to
overheat. I returned the car to the shop & they are once again under my hood
looking for the answer to this problem. I know nothing abut cars.. but what
other reason could there possibly be for my car to overheat?

My radiator seems to be fine.. we have noticed no external leaks. What could
this be? Can you help me please.. I just need advice on what could be
causing this..

Hi There Andi

In this situation you have to start with the basics

1. Have the cooling system pressure tested for leaks, with will tell you if you have an internal leak like from a headgasket or an external leak from a hose or something.
2. Does the engine over heat when sitting at idle or low speeds, this can be caused by a faulty electric radiator cooling fan motor
3. Does the engine over heat when the vehicle is moving at freeway speeds, this can be caused by a clogged up radiator or just due to not enough coolant in the engine…due to a leak

A real mechanic should be able to check these things out for you.

Do not continue to drive with the engine overheating, it will destroy this engine in no time.

If for some reason they think you might have damaged the internal headgasket you might want to try the K&W Block Sealer additive I mentioned in my original article, but use it the way I describe not as the can directs. Only use it if you have ruled out everything else though.  Its a last resort.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Over Heating

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