A car engine can overheat for a number of reasons, but can often be addressed without the need for major engine repairs. While it’s most likely to take place during the summertime when temperatures climb, an overheating engine can occur any time of year. No matter the circumstance, however, an overheating engine demands attention. Find out what causes the issue, along with what you can do to prevent or react to it, below.
A Complete Guide to Engine Overheating
In general, engines tend to overheat because something within the cooling system is stopping the proper flow of heat. A leak in the cooling system is the most common cause, but it’s also possible for blocked hoses and radiator issues to prevent heat from escaping.
While these issues tend to be the main culprits behind overheating, they can be exacerbated in hot weather and traffic, which is why most people tend to notice the issue during this time of year. Of course, there’s a possibility that there’s a more serious malfunction at play that could demand engine repair, so always have an overheating issue investigated by a mechanic.
It’s a good idea to check your fluid levels frequently, including coolant. If you notice low coolant, top it off using the type recommended in your owner’s manual. When coolant levels are extremely low, it likely suggests a leak. Additionally, check your radiator for sticks, leaves, or other debris which could clog your system and prevent heat from escaping. You should also inspect your radiator cap, as a weak cap could fail to maintain system pressure, which can lead to overheating.
What to Do if it Happens
Should you find your vehicle overheating while you’re on the road, shut off your AC if it’s on. This will decrease the load on your vehicle’s engine. Turn the heat on, which will transfer the heat from your cooling system into the passenger compartment.
If the issue persists, don’t continue driving. Instead, pull over and open the hood. Wait until the engine cools, then put a cloth over the radiator cap to protect your hand. Refill the cooled radiator with coolant or water, but never pour cold water in a radiator that’s still hot – doing so could create a need for large-scale engine repairs.
If you’re experiencing frequent overheating, the team from Kalispell Alignment & Auto Repair can get to the bottom of it. Specializing in engine repair and replacement among many other auto services, these ASE certified technicians serve drivers throughout Kalispell, MT, with quality services backed by competitive warranties. Explore their full range of services by visiting their website or call (406) 755-0234 to speak with a team member.