What is causing my car to over heat?

Tiny
SPRYKING
  • 1998 FORD TAURUS
  • 185,888 MILES

My car is a automatic and I drove the car on the freeway while it was in 2nd gear (the one below the "Drive" gear) at 60-70 MPH for several miles without noticing what gear it was in. At the last minute I saw that white smoke was coming out of the exhaust and the did not start up after I shut it off. I returned a few hours later to see if it cooled down and it started but the engine heats up almost instantly. What can be the cause of this, how can I fix it and what did I do to damage the vehicle in the first place. Please & Thank you

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Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 AT 6:38 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
  • 25,554 POSTS

You blew a head gasket from the overheating. Major engine damage has resulted. Most likely needs a different motor.

Roy

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Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 AT 6:44 PM
Tiny
SPRYKING
  • MEMBER

The Car is still drivable but can I just replace the head gasket?

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Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 AT 6:51 PM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
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  • 25,554 POSTS

White smoke is a sign of burning engine coolant due to a leaking head gasket. You did not exactly cause that. It was a problem that was about to develop on its own, and stressing the engine just hurried it along.

No engine will overheat instantly when started from cold. If you're seeing bubbles in the cooling system reservoir, that is the combustion gases leaking the other way and going into the cooling system. As proof, you'll notice the coolant is still cold; it's not boiling, and there's no steam associated with that bubbling.

Depends on the damage. It has to be torn down to see the damage.

Do not drive it till you have it repaired.

Roy

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Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 AT 7:01 PM

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