Why me :-/ car runs hotter than it does normally after driving 8-10 miles or waiting a few min at long stop light it will sound and feel like its going to die out

Asked by Jan 29, 2017 at 01:45 AM about the 1998 Chevrolet Prizm 4 Dr LSi Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Then it starts to run sluggish or like Its struggling
and at this point it changes gear late. it smells a
little hot  but has water  and over flow always
seems to be full. I dont see water in the oil but
water has brown rusty color foamy stuff at rip and
on radiator cap . Please any ideas id appreciate
any input im a short tempered/ irritated female
trying my best at it myself

4 Answers


My guess would be improper cooling capabilities. Perhaps getting clogged up, or thermostat could be faulty, water pump could be faulty. Dirty or contaminated fluid should always be changed.... I hate to recommend things in haste but, id take it to a shop and perhaps have the cooling system flushed and filled to start off. This may not help at all either and id like to say you dont waste your money as flushing the system cant possibly hurt when its rusty looking. What kind of vehicle and year are we talking about???

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

oh....now i see the car model....lol sorry.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I find that foamy fluid is a result of low level or incorrect additives. Again my opinion is to take to a reputable shop and describe problem then ask about the flush and fill with thermostat replacement to start off with. There may also be a problem with electric cooling fan engagement due to fluid level or contamination. Wait for more answers here and see what popular opinion is.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Mrratchet has some good points. Hard to say what is exactly going on, but you are overheating it seems, that's why it is running sluggish. Worse case is a headgasket issue, aka, oil is mixing with the coolant. Mizz, have you owned the vehicle since new, or a long period of time? I'd like to know if the coolant has ever been changed? Maybe a past owner added a stop leak product for an issue and now it is surfacing. Those only work temporarily.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Prizm in your area?

CarGurus has thousands of nationwide listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

Postal Code:


Chevrolet Prizm Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Toyota Corolla
144 Great Deals out of 3,530 listings starting at $1,795
Used Honda Civic
246 Great Deals out of 4,439 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota Camry
39 Great Deals out of 1,917 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda CR-V
38 Great Deals out of 2,722 listings starting at $300
Used Chevrolet Malibu
80 Great Deals out of 1,810 listings starting at $2,900
Used Mercedes-Benz C-Class
141 Great Deals out of 1,748 listings starting at $3,988

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.