Car Engine Overheating
How To Deal With An Overheating Car Engine
An overheating car engine can be the result of just about anything that causes the cooling system to no longer be able to absorb and dissipate heat properly. Low coolant level, coolant leak, defective thermostat, poor heat conductivity, a loose fan clutch, poor radiator airflow, a lower radiator hose that has collapsed, broken cooling fan, defective radiator cap or even a loose or eroded water pump impeller are all influences that could leave you broke down on the side of the road.
Things To Check
If you have an overheating car engine, there are a few things that could be the cause, such as:
- Bad Thermostat – A good thermostat can be damaged by overheating. Feeling the upper radiator hose is the easiest way to check this. The hose should not be hot unless the engine has had time to warm up and open the thermostat. Alternatively, if the hose stays cold, the thermostat is not opening up.
- Leaky Head Gasket – Hope that this is not the cause of your overheating car engine because repairs are costly. A leaky head gasket allows coolant into the engine's crankcase or cylinders. White steam in the exhaust is a good indication.
- Cooling System Leaks – This is the most common cause of overheating. Possible points of leakage include hoses, water pump, heater core, the radiator, head gasket, thermostat housing, freeze plugs, block and cylinder heads. A pressure test is helpful in checking these elements.
- Faulty Fan – A faulty fan clutch is a popular cause of overheating because it can lose its effectiveness as much as 50 percent which causes the engine to work a lot harder.
- Slipping Belt – A loose belt can prevent your water pump from working properly. If coolant isn't circulated fast enough, it can cause an overheating car engine.
- Leaky Water Pump – If the impeller veins happen to be eroded because of corrosion or if it has come loose away from the shaft, it can cause overheating.
- Collapsed Lower Radiator Hose – A pinched hose blocks the coolant flow while the engine is running, causing it to overheat.
- Exhaust Back Pressure – The flow of exhaust can be restricted by a blocked catalytic converter.
- Dirty Radiator – Dead bugs, debris and dirt can reduce heat dissipation by blocking airflow. An accumulation of deposits and internal corrosion can also block the coolant flow which results in an overworked and hot engine.
- Dragging Brakes – If your parking brake is accidentally not released or your disc brake caliper sticks, it causes your engine to work a lot harder to overcome the friction.
Cooling Your Engine Down
- If you have an overheating care engine, the first step is to turn the engine off.
- Wait for a minute. Do not open the hood if it is steaming.
- When the car is completely cooled, pull the hood release that is located underneath your dashboard.
- Walk to the front of your car and reach under the hood. You should find a lever that you will need to squeeze for it to open.
- First check your coolant reservoir. This is a plastic jug that will have a hose that runs to your radiator. Check the contents.
- Using a rag, open the radiator cap after the engine is completely cool. Always open this very cautiously.
- Examine the radiator and determine if there is coolant left.
- Replace the radiator cap when you're done.
- Check to make sure that no hoses have burst.
- Restart your engine.
- Keep a close eye on your temperature gauge and never allow the needle to enter the red area. Always turn your engine off when it approaches the red zone.