1999 Oldsmobile Alero Check engine soon.
Question= my car has a clicking/clunking noise under the hood. I was in a drive thru one day and the car just sputtered out. The people at the drive thru said it had white smoke coming off of it. A few weeks before it just overheated for no reason. I went and got oil and put in because the low oil light was on even though the dipstick showed it only needed one quart.
It would not start at all, but i had electrical function, then after about 30 minutes it started and I had to floor it to get it to drive. I got home and later that night tried to start it, there was NO power what so ever, even the dash lights would not turn on.
Later all of a sudden while the car was off the head lights came on, and no keys were in the ignition, the lights are set to automatic so they turn off when the car is off and it started right up. it still does this periodically when you least expect it and after sitting for a while it will start. Now I have to fill the car every day with water, it over heats and has a weird kind of click sound, it sounds like the fan is hitting something but it isn't, and it keeps doing it when the car is shut off. It also over heats after about 10 minutes of driving even when the water is full.
We tried to change the thermostat but when we opened it up it didn't haven't one. I don't put antifreeze in it right now because I cant afford to fill it up to twice a day at $13/gallon. Another problem that isn't major, but annoying and that started a couple of years ago is that when the automatic head lights come on all of the dash lights go out so I can not see any of my gauges. We've checked all the fuses and they are all fine. What is wrong with my car??? Thanks for your help.
Answer: Sounds like you're about have an engine failure! The knocking/clicking noise is most likely a rod knock, or lifter tick associated from being overheated. If you are putting that much coolant in every single day, you have a major problem. You can be sure it's burning coolant in one or more of the cylinders due to a blown head gasket, leaking intake gasket, warped cylinder head, cracked block, or all of those combined. If you continue driving it that way, it will only get worse and the engine will end up blowing and locking up due to internal failures. As far as your electrical problems, it sounds like a body control module that is shorting out intermittently that is causing your issues. There could also be corrosion on either of the inside fuse boxes due to water intrusion over the years. That is common on your style vehicle. Your main problems are the knocking and losing coolant, and should be addressed first.