When a vehicle owner arrives reporting a problem with the engine overheating, the immediate assumption is a problem with the water pump. However, a problem within the cooling system should be identified using a specific sequence, beginning with the parts most accessible and easiest to check. Prior to performing any additional work on a vehicle, check the thermostat. If the thermostat appears to be in a fixed position or does not appear to move properly, the thermostat is the likely cause of the overheating. Check the cooling system hoses looking for soft, weak, or collapsed hoses. Any of these conditions can and will in time create problems with the efficient operation of the cooling system.