Mazda Protege This compact model offers an economical solution for the need for a sporty sedan or wagon.

1996 Protege overheating/bad coolant

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Old 07-21-2018, 08:18 PM
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Location: Missouri
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Default 1996 Protege overheating/bad coolant

I think I'm on the right track with what happened but maybe some of y'all would know better:

Was stuck in terrible highway traffic on a scorcher of a day. Once I got through the traffic 45 minutes later I noticed the engine was running really hot. Pulled over and realized the radiator fan wasn't running anymore, very surprising. Turns out a relay was bad so just hotwired by suggestion of an on-site mechanic at a travel center. Fan worked fine. Car cooled down, water pump was working fine, but radiator has a dent in the bottom and coolant was brownish with particles in it and a slight bit of oil separating (bad news, I know..kind of worried it may be gasket as result. However, I did bottom out the car recently so considering it could be a but of transmission fluid). Got the car home and it hasn't overheated since. Doesn't run rough. No strange exhaust. A bit of oil burnt but oil is fine and not milky. Taking it in Monday to have gasket inspected. I'm down to 3 possibilities: bad radiator, blown gasket, or maybe stuck thermostat. It does seem to take in coolant but almost feels like it's clogged as it does somewhat erratically. Im not incredibly car literate so any ideas greatly appreciated!
 
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