An engine overheat is what happens when the cooling system is unable to digest, carry, and waste heat from the engine. Cars overheat most frequently in scorching weather. It does not happen a lot of time with modern vehicles, but even a car that is well-maintained can overheat. If you find the dashboard temperature indicator begins to rise, or a malfunction indicator light comes on, that’s when your car most likely overheats. The effects of an overheated engine can be severe and can result in costly repairs, which is why a vehicle should be parked and enabled to cool down quickly, as it begins to show any signs of overheating. You should stop driving your car immediately when your car overheats. Otherwise, you may permanently damage your engine. You can call for a professional service of a local car mechanic for all your car overheating issues.
Overheating can be caused by several different problems, including:
- Low coolant level – If the coolant has not been topped up regularly or is leaking from both external and internal sources, the engine will overheat.
- Faulty fan – Be it an electric type or belt-driven type, if it stops working for any reason, then overheating will occur.
- Faulty thermostat – The thermostat opens and closes in response to temperature. If it fails to open, coolant cannot circulate, and the engine will overheat.
- Clogged radiator – If the heater turns out to be clogged with insects, rust or other debris, it will not distribute air properly, generating overheating.
- Restricted exhaust – When the catalytic converter on an exhaust pipe has been crushed, exhaust that flows away from the engine also becomes blocked, leading to overheating.
Preventing your car from overheating
Regular maintenance of your car’s cooling system is the best way to prevent your engine from overheating. At the very least, you should check the coolant level periodically and top it up if required. If you encounter an overheating problem, you can try the following things to determine the cause:
- Test the thermostat – Remove the thermostat and place it in boiling water to see if it opens. You should replace it if it does not open.
- Test the head gasket – Turn on the engine and check the exhaust. If you see any white steam coming out, it means that you have a leaking head gasket.
- Test the cooling fan – Examine the fan for signs of oil around the clutch or a tendency for the fan to shake or to rotate freely when the engine is off, as this could mean a faulty propeller clutch.
- Test the belts and hoses – A slipping belt could block the water pump from operating correctly, and a collapsed radiator hose could stop coolant flow. That is why you need to check and replace these as required.
Flush the radiator – To remove rust and hard water scale, you can back-flush the cooling system. Be informed that any time you open the cooling system to repair it, you will need to clear it when you have finished since air pockets can develop and ultimately can cause overheating.