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No problems with 96 isuzu rodeo (158,000 miles). Took to mechanic proactively for new timing belt, water pump and oil change.

Drove few miles home and heard slight clicking noise. Later that day tried to drive and noticed was no power brake fluid. Mechanic said his fault, came to car to refill and make sure all was ok.

I drove the next day to work…after few miles smoke appeared under hood. Mechanic said was power brake fluid burning off and no danger to drive it. (My instinct said otherwise but I listened to both him and owner and kept driving). Long story short, I called on the cell phone 3 more times as temp gauge went up. It finally reached close to the top. Was told to keep driving it. After the last call the car did not start up, I phoned one more time and mechanic came to car. Had driven about 20 miles by this time. Had me drive the 2 or 3 miles to shop. Said radiator was old and bad, sold me a new radiator.

Next day as I started to leave the shop with a new radiator the car overheated again. This was less than 2 miles away. This time he said it was bad thermostat and that was the reason for radiator overheating first time. (Not sure I agree with this because I had no previous problem with car or thermostat)

My question is…with all that driving on a car that was overheated (about 25 miles) is there the possibility of engine damage? Did this shorten the life of the engine?

Hard to say. As long as everything is fine NOW, then I’d say you got lucky. In mixed alloy engines with aluminum heads, the odds are against you with over heating. It will tend to warp the head(s) if severe enough.

…but if it’s running well now, and doesn’t continue on a trail of problems that this mechanic continues to “tweak” saying that it’s now fixed. If it does, then I’d say that the head gasket(s) are in need of replacing and the head(s) need to be checked for warpage.

Sure it did. Don’t go back to this mechanic.