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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My panel said ac not working due to engine overheating and temp gauge quit working at same time,car was not actually overheating though,drove it 3 or 4 hrs with no problem and no indication it was running hot,then car shut off and noticed steam coming out around driver's side of the side of radiator about mid ways down(may have not been coming out of radiator,could not see exact spot),opened oil cap and noticed a very small amount of smoke,now it will not turn over,engine locked up or could it be computer shut it down and needs resetting after I find out and fix original problem?any help would be very much appreciated.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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Then it's very possible that the "steam" was actually coolant escaping under pressure. That might also suggest that there was not enough coolant and the ECT sensor was not able to provide accurate temperature data to the computer. If that happens, the BCM will turn the radiator fans on high and cancel any AC. Usually it will also set the temp gauge to either full Cold or full Overheat.

What we haven't heard is whether there is a CEL and how much coolant it needed to fill it up again, if any.

You should also scan it for codes and use them to guide you.

I'm not aware of the computer shutting the engine down and preventing you from trying to start it, so if it won't crank, then the starter system may have failed in some way, or maybe the engine really is a paperweight.
 

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@DrivenDaily is giving you good advice - get the codes read in your vehicle, there will be clues.

I had a similar situation once which turned out to be a sticky thermostat. As engine heat built and thermostat was stuck closed, pressure would build on the upstream side of the thermostat, levels in the reservoir would rise to tippy top. When I shut the car off (either due to the car cooling or the thermostat opening) the level in res would return to something more normal or a bit low. However, in my case, I could smell the coolant and would sometimes have a small puddle under the car.

Anyway, get your codes read
 

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Disconnect the battery and try to get the engine to rotate by hand. Maybe use a wrench on the main engine pulley/damper or try rotating the alternator or simply grab the belt by hand. If the engine rotates by hand, the starter should easily move it.

For an engine to seize from overheating, it must get extremely hot and lose a great deal of coolant. Steam from the side of the radiator is not a good sign. Can you remove and upper rad hose and add a large quantity of coolant? If so, not a good sign. If there is still plenty of coolant in the system, it is almost impossible for the engine to seize due to temperature.

Seizing due to lack of oil could happen at almost normal temperatures.

Engines are expensive so it's best to investigate further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited by Moderator)
I was mistaken and upon going back out to car today and trying it again it is turning over but definitely not even trying to start, just a whining noise, pulled it to mechanic and hopefully get some codes tomorrow after running diagnostics, thanks to everyone's advice.

And also engine oil was at normal level and looked fine.
 
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