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Old 08-02-2014, 07:26 PM   #1
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The end?

Today I'm parked waiting for my sister to grab some lunch and the car's temp gauge goes up. I drive to cool it off, there's water in the coolant reservoir so it isn't that. Once I find a place in a neighborhood to leave the car, the needle was at the end of the red on the temp gauge.
We leave it there at 3, come back at 7 so I can drive home. I hear a ticking noise, the SES light comes on, the car when I give it gas doesn't want to. Shakes, stumbles. I'm assuming engine damage occurred.

What usually occurs in the engine when this happens?


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Old 08-03-2014, 11:29 AM   #2
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If you run it too long catastrophic failure can occur. The best thing to do when that happens is to run with your heat in high with the windows down so you don't over heat lol it helps with cooling the engine down. There are a few things that could have gone wrong. Loss of coolant thermostat stuck closed clogged radiator cooling fan failure. By the sounds of it when you started it up again some failure has happened already you may need a new engine... Sorry bro.


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Old 08-03-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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Oh lord. I'm waiting on the verdict from whomever was sent to look at it. Before the tow truck came a friend of my dad's went to me to look over the car, I let him drive it a bit and at night mind you it quickly overheated, by the time we parked it again the gauge needle went to the red, once it got there, the car shook, and I heard a loud gasp made by the CAI, and the needle moved back suddenly to the left side.

What had caused the initial overheating I think was because the radiator cap was in the open position when I came back to it. I traveled with it that way without knowing though, i'm over 100 miles from the car as I went to visit family. When I was in hot city traffic thats when it worsened, I live in a much calmer town, and the car never did overheat, stayed in the middle.

Initially when it was overheating yesterday the car did not stall, the coolant wasn't boiling. But I could see debris in the reservoir.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:27 AM   #4
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Why on earth did you keep driving when it started to overheat! Pull the car over and let it sit as soon as it starts to.. Goodbye car


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Old 08-05-2014, 11:38 AM   #5
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A loose radiator cap will not cause an engine to overheat; it will lower the boiling point, but not cause an overheating issue. If there were no leaks, then either a stuck closed thermostat or fan was at fault for your coolant to rise.

And as you were already told, never, never continue driving a car that is overheating. Most new cars today go into a "limp mode" that will shut down cylinders and ****** timing, allowing the driver to pull over ASAP.

I think your outcome will not be good. the fact that you drove it a second time at overheated temps with your friends dad was not going to help it either.

Sorry to hear, but I would not expect any good news on this one. Good luck though.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:46 PM   #6
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I'm aware that driving when overheating= bad. This is a thread asking what sorts of damage should I expect, so I can have a better understanding of what occurred.
The first time, when I let it sit and cool off some, it went right back to heating up in Miami heat and traffic, and I had a dog and 3 cats I was transporting, had to make sure to pull in somewhere safe.
I'm told now the car is fine, it was apparently just air bubbles in the cooling system but im extremely skeptical, i'll let you all know when I drive it back home. Thank you for your advice and such.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:07 PM   #7
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Loose cap probably caused the air bubbles

Why was the cap loose in the first place?
I'm guessing you checked the oil.
It's good to hear that there is no engine damage though.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:46 PM   #8
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Overheating can cause cracked or warped heads, blown head gaskets, scored cylinder walls, bent valves, etc.

The radiator cap being loose or defective can DEFINITELY cause overheating problems on modern cars because they are already designed to run pretty hot.
The difference In boiling temperature between water at atmospheric pressure, at sea level, and water at 15 lbs of pressure is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit HIGHER with the water under pressure.
That pressure combined with a 50/50 mix of coolant increases the boiling temperature in the cooling system to around 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
For reference, water, at sea level, boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

You'll just have to drive the car and see if any damage was done, OP...
Good luck!
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miri View Post
I'm aware that driving when overheating= bad. This is a thread asking what sorts of damage should I expect, so I can have a better understanding of what occurred.
The first time, when I let it sit and cool off some, it went right back to heating up in Miami heat and traffic, and I had a dog and 3 cats I was transporting, had to make sure to pull in somewhere safe.
I'm told now the car is fine, it was apparently just air bubbles in the cooling system but im extremely skeptical, i'll let you all know when I drive it back home. Thank you for your advice and such.

Newer cars have sealed cooling systems, the coolant moves back and forth between the reservoir and radiator as the engine heats up and cools down. I was actually going to mention air in the system when I first started reading this but as I got to the end you found out that's probably what it was. I'm guessing with a loose cap, you were introducing air into the system as the coolant level was rising and falling. You can have air in the system and not even know it by looking at the fluid level in the radiator. Just because it looks full doesn't really mean it is.


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Old 08-05-2014, 09:45 PM   #10
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Hi there!
So, a while back (for my first car) I had a 95 mustang v6, and I made the mistake of driving it while it overheated. I drove it like this for about 3/4 months, thinking (like an idiot) that there was just a computer problem, because I really didn't know much about cars at the time. Turned out to just be a stuck thermostat at first, but ended up blowing a head gasket. That's no good.
Anyway, to your car. You said that you only drove it twice until it overheated? I mean, that's never good for the engine, but I didn't end up actually blowing a head gasket until driving it for a couple of months. It's hard to tell with every car, but there is hope for your car yet.
In any manner, I would try to drive it a little bit (being very light on the gas and all), and at THE VERY FIRST SIGN OF OVERHEATING pull over ASAP and let it sit. Tow it, leave it, try and let it cool, the choice is yours. If you still have the check engine light on when you start the car/it seems to rev oddly, bring it to an O'Reily's or something of the nature to have a free code read, and let us know.
Anyway, best of luck brother. And remember, it's better to not be able to drive your car until you can get it fixed than to completely destroy it. I got to learn that lesson so that you don't have to. Cheers!
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straybullitt View Post
Overheating can cause cracked or warped heads, blown head gaskets, scored cylinder walls, bent valves, etc.

The radiator cap being loose or defective can DEFINITELY cause overheating problems on modern cars because they are already designed to run pretty hot.
The difference In boiling temperature between water at atmospheric pressure, at sea level, and water at 15 lbs of pressure is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit HIGHER with the water under pressure.
That pressure combined with a 50/50 mix of coolant increases the boiling temperature in the cooling system to around 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
For reference, water, at sea level, boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

You'll just have to drive the car and see if any damage was done, OP...
Good luck!
Not sure what you meant, but a loose radiator cap will not make a car overheat...some other defect will of course. many folks have released pressure on a cars cooling system by running with a radiator cap loose. If you have a leak, such as a water pump or radiator, running with the cap loose will allow you to get home and not loose too much coolant. However, this lowers the boiling point of the coolant, and will raise the temp, but not to overheating conditions.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:44 AM   #12
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Not sure what you meant, but a loose radiator cap will not make a car overheat...some other defect will of course. many folks have released pressure on a cars cooling system by running with a radiator cap loose. If you have a leak, such as a water pump or radiator, running with the cap loose will allow you to get home and not loose too much coolant. However, this lowers the boiling point of the coolant, and will raise the temp, but not to overheating conditions.
I explained in detail why having your radiator cap loose or its inability to hold pressure can cause overheating problems. Modern cars need the extra boil over "buffer zone" that a pressurized cooling system provides.
Otherwise, why would the automakers have the cooling system pressure so high?

Tonight, on your way home from work, loosen up the radiator cap on your Mustang snd give it a good flogging, Bucko.
Be sure to pull over when the temperature goes into the red because it's very bad to drive a car when it's overheating. ..
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:44 PM   #13
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Hi guys, thanks for your input!
I was told the car had air bubbles in the cooling system so the water couldn't get through to the engine. I asked if it had any odd noises from the engine and I was told the guy had it running for half an hour with no issues, and he put actual coolant. Was not aware or taught that pure water isn't the best until I looked at the manual that day. I'm going Sunday to get the car and see for myself, still skeptical until I actually have it in my possession and look at any codes it might have.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by straybullitt View Post
I explained in detail why having your radiator cap loose or its inability to hold pressure can cause overheating problems. Modern cars need the extra boil over "buffer zone" that a pressurized cooling system provides.
Otherwise, why would the automakers have the cooling system pressure so high?

Tonight, on your way home from work, loosen up the radiator cap on your Mustang snd give it a good flogging, Bucko.
Be sure to pull over when the temperature goes into the red because it's very bad to drive a car when it's overheating. ..
Yes, I know its bad to drive an overheated car. I abuse my Mustang on the weekends at a local private airport thats opened for street cars to run track times. Many times I drive this Mustang hard, and put it away wet so to speak.

I drove from Orlando to my home in the Sanford area one evening; a good 25 to 30 mile drive, with the overflow tank cap loose (my 2011 does not have a direct radiator cap). It did not overheat, nor did it peg the guage.
I was installing a oil cooler setup from a 3.7 V6 truck that uses a lower hose that contains a send/return coolant hose to an oil "block". The oil filter attaches to this block, and the coolant helps cool the engine oil as it passes through the oil filter. Ford has been using this setup now for quite some time in their police vehicles and now the 3.7 V6 equipped trucks use it. Some simple modifications to the lower radiator hose allow it to work in the 3.7 V6 Mustangs. I forgot to "seal" the system after re-installing the modified lower radiator hose that evening; it was dark when I finished, so the usual safty checks got skipped. Bad thing. The next morning when I went out to the garage, I could smell some antifreeze, which prompted me to pop the hood and look for my leak from the work the night before. I found that the radiator overflow tank cap was loose. So, I drove the night before, without any pressure, and did not overheat.

The waterpump will circlulate the water, with or without pressure from the cooling system. I'll agree that your temps may rise, but they will not overheat if the cooling system is in decent working order. If yours does, check the temp sensor, the e-fan or clutch fan, and check the radiator itself for blockage (poor cooling maintenance).
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:21 PM   #15
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My radiator cap was probably loose from I was changing the plugs since I was maneuvering around in there so I had the car with the cap open for like 2 weeks or more, the only thing I noticed now that I recall was the needle a couple notches past the middle during regular driving.

I got to drive the car again, no CEL, odd noises from the engine nothing.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:16 AM   #16
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Well, you're probably okay then! Take it easy, watch for smoke of any kind that your car might make or a loss of power, and thank your lucky stars. Glad that it turned out well for you!


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Old 08-11-2014, 09:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Miri View Post
My radiator cap was probably loose from I was changing the plugs since I was maneuvering around in there so I had the car with the cap open for like 2 weeks or more, the only thing I noticed now that I recall was the needle a couple notches past the middle during regular driving.

I got to drive the car again, no CEL, odd noises from the engine nothing.
Sounds like you are good to go. When my cap was bad I had it boil over after every stop and it always overheated. For some reason I couldn't find a cap that fit and my dad happened to buy 2 for his expidition. Fit perfectly!!

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