'97 Nissan Altima Overheated..

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iLikeToDrum, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. iLikeToDrum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    #1
    My car overheated today, while on the freeway.

    I'm not a car wiz... Is this gonna cost me a lot? I've had it for about 3 weeks, and this is the first time this has happened.

    I was on the freeway, going about 80, had ac on aswell, but turned it off(fortunately) before seeing the temp gauge was climbing!

    A friend told me it could be my radiator cap.... But let's consider what else it could be. How much would the fixes cost?

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    I'm no mechanic but a car overheats because the coolant is not doing its job. Why its not is the big question. Could be that something is blocking the flow, or a leak in the hose or the level of coolant is insufficient or the wrong coolant was used.

    My suggestion is take it in and ask for an estimate. It could be as easy is adding more coolant.
     
  3. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #3
    it's probably that the coolant is low. Check your coolant level if it needs more then add it. Once you've done that just pay more attention than normal to the temperature guage hopefully it solves the problem. If it overheats again after you've added coolant then there is probably a leak somewhere and unless you are comfortable finding the leak and fixing it yourself you should take it in to a mechanic to get it fixed. As far as the price goes without knowing where the actual problem is it is impossible to say it could be very cheap, or you could have some major problem with the cooling system that would cost several hundred dollars.
     
  4. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #4
    Coolant low, water pump failing, or just old coolant that isn't doing it's job anymore. Depending how much it did overheat you could have damaged a head or your headgasket. You need to get it checked out by a mechanic.
     
  5. iLikeToDrum thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    #5
    When I overheated, it was about half full of coolant, so I filled up all the way.

    Checked it about 10 miles later, and it was back to half.
     
  6. MonksMac macrumors 6502a

    MonksMac

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Location:
    DFW
    #6
    I have the same car.
    Have the car checked out for low coolant, and check to make sure you don't have any blown gaskets.
    If the car does overheat again while you are driving turn the heater on full blast to draw excess heat away from the engine (it's uncomfortable in the heat, but it works).
    Good luck! :cool:

    Edit: sounds like you have either a leaky hose or radiator. It wouldn't hurt to check the hose clamps either.
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #7
    Are you noticing any leaks?
     
  8. mlemonds macrumors 6502a

    mlemonds

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #8
    Or white smoke when driving
     
  9. MonksMac macrumors 6502a

    MonksMac

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Location:
    DFW
    #9
    Yep, white smoke+smelly heater= blown headgasket.
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #10
    Yup....OP, does your car have a sweet odor when you run it
     
  11. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #11
    If slow leak, gasket in water pump. If fast leak and misfiring/smoke - head gasket. If fast leak and no puddles, go to an auto supply store and buy a bottle of cooling system leak detector. It is a ultraviolet dye you add it to the radiator. Drive the car a day or two and then poke around the engine using a UV/black light to find the leak.


    Or just take it to a repair shop for a diagnosis.
     
  12. iLikeToDrum thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    #12
    Ok. Mechanic said my radiator is clogged.

    Not a headgasket. If it were, I'd be blowing hoses, muchless wouldn't be able to make it to his shop.

    Thanks all for the help!
     
  13. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #13
    Not at all true. Depending on the severity of the gasket failure, it is possible to drive a car for quite a long time that way. A clogged radiator should be easy enough to determine and is a relatively inexpensive repair, so it sounds like you got off ok.
     
  14. MonksMac macrumors 6502a

    MonksMac

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Location:
    DFW
    #14
    Yep. My estimate was that my car was driven at least a few days to a week with a bad gasket. Don't underestimate those KA24DE's- they're tough!

    OP, thankfully yours is a pretty small problem! :D
     
  15. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #15
    Let's hope this was not the case here, and the previous owner covered it up with massive amounts of Barr's Leak.

    That crap can plug up anything, just to hide another problem.
     
  16. iLikeToDrum thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    #16
    I really hope that's not the case. Should I just put some clr in the radiator to unclog it? ;)
     
  17. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #17
    I've had many cars blow headgaskets over the hears and hoses never blew off.

    I've had some that would just leak into the engine oil and i've had one that had a warped head and block(cast iron) and it would pour the antifreeze out all over the place. Both were drivable , but the last one had white smoke going everywhere.
     
  18. iLikeToDrum thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    #18
    I see no leaks at all on my car. Anywhere. No white smoke at all. I'm highly doubting the head gasket. I've driven maybe 60 miles since that over heat happened(being very conservative about driving around) and the temp has stayed in the middle and been fine since, so it seems.

    Hoses hold pressure too, mechanic said if they didn't, then there would be a leak for sure.
     

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