Car overheated now it won't start.

Asked by Jul 18, 2016 at 10:09 AM about the 1998 Ford Contour 4 Dr LX Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 98 Ford Contour. My car randomly shut
down on me in a parking lot and I went to check
under the hood of what might've happened. My
coolant was empty so I put what I had left in the
tank and drove it home. The next day I put 2 full
containers of coolant in my car and was good for
the next day. I went driving and my car started to
overheat and noticed my tank was already empty.
So I've already diagnosed I have a leak. I'm sure it's
the radiator. Anyway, after I let it cool down I drove
it for a few miles and got stuck on the side of the
highway. Engine was smoking so again I let it cool
down for an hour and a half with the heat on full
blast and a guy pulled over and helped me put
water in the coolant tank. Restarted my car and got
a mile down the road to a gas station. Car
overheated super fast and white smoke was coming
from the bottom of the car. I'm assuming it was the
water evaporating. I tried to crank my car after
letting it sit. It wanted to go but wouldn't turn over.
So I called a tow. After I got back I went to check
my car one last time before giving up for the day.
My car didn't do anything at all. My battery was still
going but it was a lot weaker. I've been
troubleshooting for days and don't want to spend
money on a mechanic I'd rather just buy parts and
do it myself. So I'm thinking the alternator? Radiator
leak, the serpentine belt possibly needs replaced
and maybe a new battery. Any input would be
greatly appreciated.

2 Answers

23,755

Don't just replace a part without knowing for certain it was faulty. You'll just be wasting money and not fixing anything. Refill the cooling system with water, and run the engine in your driveway and look for the leak. You seem to be losing a lot of coolant fast. That might be a blown hose or cracked housing. Check your heater hoses, and water pump seal, too. A lot of times when a radiator goes, the coolant leaks to the ground. (wouldn't hurt to check the petcock was closed!) If an upper hose goes, it leaks onto the engine and headers and you get a lot of steam. You say you also lost battery power, after the loss of coolant? Was that from running the starter a long time or was it related to the coolant loss? The leak may have soaked the battery or battery cables/starter solenoid (basically shorting it). try looking for your leak around those, especially the thermostat housing. Good luck!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
23,755

Got a little too long winded in my reply, forgot to make one important suggestion: a lot of leaks develop in the thermostat housing, an o-ring can blow out, and you may have the temp sensor that plugs into the housing as well, also with an o-ring. Check both the upper and lower housing for cracks too.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • Car won't start 1 answer

    I have replaced the crank position sensor, the egr valve and the cam position sensor and my car cranks but will not start. What could be wrong... I'm at a loss

    1999 Ford Contour 4 Dr SE Sedan

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Car cranks but hard starts or won't start 2 answers

    I have a 2000 ford contour se sedan 2.0l 4cy. I will go out to start and it either won't start or a very hard start if it doesn't start after the sun hots the motor I can get it to hard start mos...

    2000 Ford Contour 4 Dr SE Sedan

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1997 ford contour will not start after replacing transmission - what's wrong with it 7 answers

    Just replaced the transmission. Car started at first - went into all the gears. Now the car won't start at all.

    1997 Ford Contour 4 Dr SE Sedan

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • My 2000 Ford contour won't start

    My serpentine belt broke, and my car got hot. When I pulled my car over it stalled. I didn't try to restart it because it was hot. I replaced the serpentine belt and it wouldn't start. I put in ne...

    2000 Ford Contour 4 Dr SE Sedan

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Overheating 4 answers

    Today on my way home from work my car started overheating there's no water leaking anywhere the heater blows hot why would it be overheating

    2000 Ford Escort ZX2

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

Search Ford Contour Questions

Ford Contour Experts

#1 tropikalpirate
tropikalpirate
Reputation 630
#2 David Koppa
David Koppa
Reputation 330
#3 Wesley Beadle
Wesley Beadle
Reputation 280
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Mustang
375 Great Deals out of 47,165 listings starting at $1,999
Used Ford Taurus
210 Great Deals out of 20,120 listings starting at $950
Used Land Rover Range Rover
119 Great Deals out of 4,552 listings starting at $4,499
Used Honda Accord
706 Great Deals out of 88,073 listings starting at $699
Used Honda CR-V
794 Great Deals out of 60,073 listings starting at $900