2000 Infiniti I30 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 119000 miles
I have had this vehicle for 7 years. I have never experienced a problem with the engine overheating until yesterday. When I started my car (turned the key, but the engine was not running at this point), it made the strangest sound, which I can only describe as possibly an electrical problem. There were no pings or rough idling, just sounded like something electrical was malfunctioning. Anyway, after that the car started right up and ran smoothly as it has in the past. I drove approx 50 miles to a friends house. NO problems experienced. I stayed there approx 3 hours. When I started the car, I could hear one of the belts making a loud sound, then it stopped. I proceeded to drive home. Almost immediately the temperature gauge begin to rise. I drove approx 5 miles and pulled over to a gas station. The car overheated. There was a slight amount of steam escaping from the hood, no huge clouds of smoke. I lifted the hood. I could see where water or coolant had splashed against the engine and battery, but it had evaporated so quickly. There was no coolant or water in the overflow resevoir and for what I could tell the raditor was just about empty. I refilled both. I drove home with the cap off of the raditor to avoid the build up of pressure on the radiator. I made it home without the temperature rising above the normal level. I checked the car again today. I was not able to detect any leaks. I used the airconditioner and no overheating, etc. Do you have any suggestions as to why the car would have acted in this manner.
Could be your thermostat failing or the gasket on the thermostat. If you pull that off, boil water in a pot, once boiling place the thermostat in the water, the valve should open in 10 seconds or so, if it does not, replace it. It also could be your radiator. Let the car warm up, shut it off, feel the fins on the radiator, if you get hot and cold spots, you have a clogged/faulty radiator, replace. Thermostats are about 20-40 dollars. Radiators on ebay are about 60 for new. Those are the cheapest fixes. If it is not that, it may be your coolant temp sensor, also around 20 dollars but I believe your engine light would come on.
The noise was most likely from coolant getting on the belts and then it will burn off somewhat quick and the sound will go away.
Make sure your fans come on, if they do not come on, that is your issue.