Car Overheated Now Won’t Start – Reasons And Solutions

Car overheated now won’t start – one of the most significant issues that can happen to your car. If you are facing this problem, you’d better not ignore it and try to solve it as fast as you can.

It can cause your vehicle terrible damage and cost you a lot of money.

You don’t have to be an expert. This article shows you how to know why your car won’t start after overheating and some ways to solve this problem.

Signs Of Overheated Car

There are some symptoms of an overheated engine won’t start that you can easily notice.


smoke coming from under the hood of the car
smoke coming from under the hood of the car

If you see the steam or smoke coming out from under the hood, it means something is wrong with your engine. It’s more likely that your engine gets too hot, and you should do something to cool it down.


You shouldn’t ignore any strange smell because it means some parts of your automobile don’t work properly.

For example, you might feel a burnt smell when oil leaks or a sweet smell when the coolant leaks.

Usually, burning oil smells through vents. All is a sign that your car overheated now won’t start.

Engine Temperature Gauge Indicator

temperature gauge in car dashboard - hot
temperature gauge in car dashboard – hot

Engine temperature gauge indicator may vary. However, whenever your indicator shows “H” or turns red, you should think that your car ran hot now won’t start. Pay close attention to this sign to be aware of the situation and have some solutions.

Reasons Why Car Overheated Won’t Start

Damaged Fuel System

A damaged fuel system is the most common reason an overheated car won’t start. A faulty fuel system can cause the motor to hot and produce heat and vapor, which creates difficulty circulating the fuel. Therefore, the engine cannot work properly.

The engine overheated now won’t start can come from different parts of the motor such as the fuel pressure damper, the fuel pressure regulator, the fuel injector, or the fuel lines. For example, if the fuel lines are too hot, it can be evaporated into these pipes and cause the automobile hard to start. 

New generations of automobiles are well equipped with developed fuel injectors that can keep the gasoline at high pressure. In case you are driving a new model but still having the problem of a car overheated now won’t start, you should consider other reasons. 

Oil Problem

The motor oil lubricates different engine parts and makes them move smoothly with minimum friction. Conventional oil can not stay at a high temperature. 

There are different types of motor oil. Make sure you choose the right one so your vehicle will not be shut off due to the overhead caused by the wrong oil. 

Car mechanic check oil level
Car mechanic check oil level

Car Battery Terminal or Cable Issue 

Whenever you cannot start your engine, you should check the battery terminal or the cable. Corroded or loose battery terminal and cable can be the reason your car overheated now won’t start.

A little bit of corrosion at first may not affect too much. However, the issue can gradually come to the battery and the electrical system. Pay attention to the small corrosion hidden inside the connectors to prevent your motor from shutting off. 

Stuck In The Air Filter 

The air filter is an important part. It keeps all dust and debris away, filters the air, and keeps the machine cool.  

After a long time using it but without cleaning, the air can not go through the filter if there is too much dust and other particles. A clogged air filter can block the airflow, then make the motor hot and unable to start.

Not Enough Coolant

Coolant can be gas or liquid, and it is used to reduce the temperature of the motor system. That’s why your car ran out of coolant and won’t start

Remember to fill up the coolant for your automobile regularly and never drive it when it’s lacking coolant. It can cause terrible damage to your engine. 

Engine Ground Connection Problem

A loose or corroded engine ground connection can make your machine difficult to start. In this case, the circuit causes the resistance to increase and affects electrical systems. You may face your car electrical system shuts off while driving.

High temperature is always bad for any part of the vehicle; try to check your engine ground if it needs to be fixed. A bad ground can cause problems when you try to change the battery.

Problem With Starter Motor And Circuit

The electricity goes from the battery through the starter control circuit and turns on the starter solenoid when starting the motor.

The starter motor spins together with the crankshaft and starts the engine. 

Due to increasing electrical circuit resistance throughout the starting process, the temperature can get higher.

Time after time, the starter motor and circuit connection can be corroded and cause your car overheated now won’t start.

engine start stop button

Vapor Lock In Fuel-Injected Engines

Vapor lock can be one of the reasons why your car overheated and now won’t start.

When the fuel is being boiled in the fuel line, it can cause vaporization. It can cause an interruption in the flow of the fuel. 

Sometimes, the clogged vent lines also lead to vapor lock. In this case, the vapor will be mixed with fuel inside the tank and make the motor difficult to start.

What To Do If My Car Overheated And Wont Start? 

Reduce The Heat

The first thing to do when your car overheated and died now won’t start is to reduce the heat. Turn off the air conditioner to remove the stress on your engine.

Keep it away from overheating until you can move the vehicle to a safe location.

Pull Over And Shut Off The Car

You’d better find a safe place to pull your automobile over and let the motor cool down. While waiting, keep an eye on the temperature gauge to ensure the indicator is back to normal.

You may need to wait at least 15 minutes before starting to do any repairs.

Check The Coolant

Add some coolant if the level of your coolant is low. It might help to protect your machine before getting fixed.

Ensure you know where the coolant is and add it in the right way. However, when the problem for your car overheated now won’t start caused by different issues, this step won’t likely help so much.

Restart The Car

If you don’t have anybody there to tow your vehicle, carefully restart the engine and drive to the nearest repair shop.

Pay attention to the temperature gauge. If it increases again, stop driving and let it cool down.

What Not To Do

Stop Panicking

Don’t panic yourself with something like: “Oh! My car overheated, and now it won’t start!” Keep calm and focus on your driving. Gradually pull off the road to avoid any accident.

Stop Driving

If your automobile is overheated but still running, stop driving anyway. You can drive your “hot” vehicle to reach your destination, but you might not want to know the costly damage it can cause.

Stop driving

Don’t Pop The Hood Immediately

After pulling over the vehicle to a safe place, it’s advisable to wait for a while until it cools down, and open the hood.

Opening it right after can let the hot steam come out and make you get burned or injured. Check the temperature gauge to know when you should pop the hood.

Don’t Procrastinate Checking The Engine Thoroughly

The problem of “car overheated now won’t start” can not be totally fixed by adding some coolant.

You should bring your vehicle to auto care for further diagnosis and proper solutions. Don’t let the issue linger.

How To Prevent Overheated Engine Wont Start 

Reduce Direct Sun And Heat To Your Car

Your car overheated now and won’t stay running. How to prevent that from happening to you? Reducing direct sun and heat to your automobile is a solution.

Try to park under the shade, which can cover and protect your motor from high temperatures, especially on a hot sunny day.

Using window shades or tinting your window also helps your automobile stay cool if there is no shady spot. They can prevent the interior from being super hot and damaged by the sunray.

Fresh Air Instead Of A/C

Let your engine cool down by using fresh air instead of A/C. Using A/C too long also causes your motor to heat up and increases the risk that the car won’t start after overheating.

Turning your automobile into a whole sealed box is not a good idea. Slightly opening your window is also helpful to keep your motor away from overheating.

Turn On The Floor Air Vents

Start cooling down the motor by turning on the floor air vents to push all the hot air out. When it gets cooler, you can switch the upper vent on. It can keep your vehicle from shutting off due to overheating.

Add A Coolant And Coolant Flush

An engine coolant is a solution to keep you away from the situation of “car overheated now won’t start”.

Check the indicator line on the reservoir to see if you have enough coolant. Don’t pour the coolant in when the engine is hot.

It’s recommended to add a coolant flush to keep the radiator clean. It can help drain the old coolant and clean it with a flush liquid.

Add coolant for engine

Notice The Car Temperature Gauge

It’s important to keep an eye on the temperature gauge to ensure you will not be in the situation of a car overheated and died now won’t start.

If the needle points to a hot sign, you’d better stop driving and cool it down.

Renew The Battery For Your Car If Needed

Time after time, your motor’s battery gets older and can’t work well like before. It has to work harder and give more heat to the motor.

You should check your battery every three years. Maybe, it’s time to replace it.

Wrap Up 

There are many reasons why your car overheated now won’t start. The most common ones are faulty batteries and inefficient coolants.

Make sure you pay close attention to all signs of a hot engine to avoid further damage.

Once you find out your motor has a problem with overheating, don’t procrastinate but fix it right away.

Check with the mechanics to ensure your hot engine will not bring you more serious problems and maintain your motor’s health.

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