Any mechanics on here? need some help

I have an 04 Toyota Matrix, and it's overheating. I know nothing about car engines. I turn on the heat, and the air isn't warm. Then the car starts to overheat, and then the air will get really hot. At that point the car temp starts going back to normal. And it just seems to be an endless loop of that sequence. Any ideas? Thanks

Maybe low coolant. It's easy to add coolant, but there's a problem if it's losing coolant. Maybe just a hole in a hose or radiator, maybe a blown head gasket. Add coolant, look for leaks.

Faculty thermostat would be my guess Phone Post 3.0

Sennin - Faculty thermostat would be my guess Phone Post 3.0
*faulty Phone Post 3.0

When you say the car temp, do you mean the engine temp or the climate control?

One of the electronic devices (thermostat or associated sensor) isn't kicking on right away or is defective is my guess based on the vague info you're giving.

My advice would be to go to a decent auto parts store and ask them to hook up a diagnostic computer and see if any error codes pop up. Electrical/electronic issues can be hard to sort out.

Prolly a stat or flush radiator

Thermostat

I know it isn't low on coolant. I see no leaks on the driveway, and I just added coolant, trying to get the car ready for colder weather.

Does the thermostat take a lot to replace?

DaveFu - When you say the car temp, do you mean the engine temp or the climate control?

One of the electronic devices (thermostat or associated sensor) isn't kicking on right away or is defective is my guess based on the vague info you're giving.

My advice would be to go to a decent auto parts store and ask them to hook up a diagnostic computer and see if any error codes pop up. Electrical/electronic issues can be hard to sort out.

I'm speaking of the car temp. The engine is getting really hot.

Well then, I'd probably suck it up and take it into a radiator shop and see what they say. You sound like you live somewhere that the last thing you want is to be stranded during the fall winter,

It may be that the part itself isn't broken, something came loose etc.

Modern cars are very difficult to fix yourself (by design) this isn;t something a first timer should do.  

Sennin - 
Sennin - Faculty thermostat would be my guess Phone Post 3.0
*faulty Phone Post 3.0


if you're changing things yoru self this would be the first place to check

Thanks guys, I know the thermostat sits behind the alternator in this car. It's getting so hot, I'm about afraid to take on the 30 minute trip to the mechanics shop. Guess I gotta suck it up and try lol.

this is what the thermostat looks like

they go faulty easily and often in cars

 

it is located right under this

Well you said it cools down and gets to normal.

DaveFu - Well you said it cools down and gets to normal.

That's true. Thanks for all y'alls help. I'm gonna go see if I can get it fixed.