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What could be causing my 2001 or 2002 Toyota Corolla to overheat under the center council under the shifter?

I know it is past due for a rack and pinion 'cause the car wiggles when I drive which means I need one. I think it might have damaged something else but I want to know what before I go into the auto shop. If you all could give a rough estimate of cost that'd be must appreciated too. It isn't bad enough to cause me to have to pull over, even if I drive across town. I also live in a really hot dry area. So that might exacerbate the over heating. I feel it through my pants leg if I drive long enough.

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If you think the problem is under the shifter, then it might be a problem with the transmission. If it is just a regular overheating problem, then it could be caused by any of a myriad of problems like a faulty radiator cap or cracked radiator among others. Talk to a mechanic for professional advice.

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I forgot to mention that my check engine light came on a few weeks before that problem kicked up.
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