Allowing your engine to overheat will damage it and place you in potential danger. An automobile engine should never exceed 220 degrees Fahrenheit, and the cooling system works tirelessly to ensure this never happens. Has your car been running too hot lately? United Auto Care can find the problem and fix it. Here is a list of things that will make your car overheat.
One of the most common reasons why an automobile will overheat is the engine coolant level is too low. Dirty and old coolant can also cause problems, as can putting the wrong coolant in your car. Your owner’s manual will tell you which coolant to use, and you should always use the proper 50/50 mix of engine coolant and water.
If your engine’s cooling system is leaking, this will naturally reduce the coolant level. Causes of cooling system leaks include worn gaskets and seals, a leaking water pump or heater core, a rusted-through radiator, and broken radiator hoses. Engine coolant is usually blue, green, or red, and it smells sweet, kind of like maple syrup.
If the coolant leaking out of your engine is orange, you’ve got a hole in the bottom of the radiator. The orange hue is caused by rust that has eaten through the radiator. Other radiator problems include clogs due to sediment buildup, a broken radiator fan, and clogged radiator vents. All of these things will overheat your engine.
Dead Water Pump
A water pump can last nearly 100,000 miles, so if you’re driving a high-mileage vehicle and you’ve never replaced the water pump, this could be causing your engine to overheat. The water pump circulates the antifreeze/coolant through the engine. If it’s leaking or malfunctioning, the coolant isn’t flowing and reducing the temperature.
Another cooling system part that can die and overheat your engine as a result is the thermostat. This is the part that releases the coolant into the water pump once your engine starts to get too hot. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, it might not be reading the engine temperature correctly and it won’t release the coolant.
Belts or Hose Problems
As we said above, hoses can start leaking, which will cause coolant to flow out of your engine rather than through it. Your water pump and radiator fan use belts to operate, and if these belts get too loose or break, your engine will overheat. It’s a good idea to check the belts and hoses at least every 30,000 miles to avoid problems.
Heater Core Clogs
Although not a part of the cooling system, the heater core uses hot coolant to heat up and defrost your vehicle’s cabin before it is returned to the radiator to cool down. There are a series of hoses that push the hot coolant through the heater core. If any of these hoses are clogged, the coolant cannot be returned to the radiator.
Finally, old and dirty motor oil will also overheat your engine and cause serious damage to your engine parts. Let United Auto Care’s full-service auto shop in Flowery Branch, GA, keep your engine cool.