Argument with myself.

Asked by Apr 07, 2016 at 06:01 AM about the 2003 Mazda MAZDA6 4 Dr s V6 Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi Gurus, my 2003 Mazda 6 got hot while
driving just over a mile yesterday. Now I
have been handy with my cars since I
was a teenage girl in my Dad's garage,
but he has been gone for 3 years now,
and I'm now disabled and can't do as
much as I used to, and cars have
admittedly changed far more than I have,
but in years passed I would have started
just replacing things at the thermostat
and worked my way through the few
possible things it could be, but these
days there are many more options, and
my skills and funds are not what they
used to be, so I thought I would run this
by you. From a cold start, it got hot after
just about a mile with no previous
symptoms something was wrong. Don't
have a radiator cap, but checked the
overflow tank and it was (hurts my pride
to admit) VERY low. Now my oil was
pretty low too, and since it does so much
cooling work, I thought may have
contributed to low coolant levels. I
topped off the coolant.. (and the oil)
burped the system several times. Now
running at an idle, it does not overheat,
but I hoped in and drove 3 blocks,
overheating still. It's garage kept and I
haven't noticed any coolant leaks, and
when I pulled it back in, one of the belts
started squealing, but I couldn't tell where
from. Any thoughts so I don't have to
spend time and money just replacing
things till it gets better?

7 Answers


Did you put another cap back on, the coolant system is pressurized.


Jennifer, don't feel bad- the 21st Century cars are complicated mechanically- anybody that owns one will need a GOOD mechanic- by good, I mean someone who doesn't just guess but diagnoses what is wrong- and repairs it economically- don't overheat that engine

My apologies by don't have a radiator cap, my intention was to day, I don't see one anywhere (which I thought was insane!) that I can access, only the coolant overflow reservoir and cap. I didn't necessarily check anything yet, because i wasnt sure where ti start exactly. I added coolant to the system and let run with no pressure in the until coolant ran through the system and air bubbles were expelled then replaced cap. Now my old school brain thought if the coolant ran through the system when I burped it, the thermostat must have opened up right? And thank goodness in the super short distances it did get hot, but never "redlined" and maxed the temperature gauge out, and I was able to shut it down and cool entirely before proceeding. I guess I'm just perplexed at it overheating on driving even a couple blcks, but could idle for the couple hr process of burping the system several times and never even get elevated?


The reservoir cap is what you need, todays cars don't have one on the radiator. Check out the thermostat and if no air in the system, are the fans coming on? Maybe you will need to perform a pressure test on the cylinders to rule out engine problems or headgasket.

Thanks for your answers guys, I was raised on the mentality of confirm all the simplistic options first, and the fact that this belt started squealing at the same time, I decided to run that down before I panicked about expensive repairs and tearing down the engine. What I found was the water pump pulley was moving, but only barely, because the belt is sloppy and loose around it, it's not busted of course, but looks worn and tired. Not sure if it would cause my problems, or if it will fix it, but it's the easiest, cheapest next option I have that I can think of. Wish me luck and let you know how it turns out.

Oh btw, fan and fan systems functioning properly, it all looks good at idle, and I can hear it kick on in drive well before temperature gets dangerously high, it's just not enough to cool it alone with whatever else is going on.

Tada, tensioner pulley was completely deteriorated, thanks for letting sound board with you guys. Used to do that with the old man, and was lost without being able to make that call, so thank you sincerely and yall take care.

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