An overheated car could ruin your day —
here are some common reasons it happens, and how to keep your car cool.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, it will be more and more common to see cars pulled over because they have overheated. But why exactly does a vehicle overheat? There are many possible reasons, which is why we’ve compiled the following list to explain the top eight reasons why your engine may be overheating.
They are, in no particular order, as follows:
- Faulty water pump
- Improper coolant ratio
- Your car leaks coolant
- Hose blockages
- Improper maintenance
- Lack of airflow to radiator
- Faulty cooling fans
- Broken radiator cap
1. Faulty Water Pump
The purpose of a water pump in your engine is to pull the coolant out of its reservoir and send it through the hoses in your vehicle. If the water pump is faulty, it is no longer able to properly pull the coolant through the hoses and cool the engine. You will probably see this happen as a gradual process as water pumps tend to wear out over time.
2. Improper Coolant Ratio
Not all coolants can be simply opened and added to your vehicle. Often, there is a ratio of coolant to water that must be mixed depending on the exact specifications of your car. If this mix is done improperly, the coolant may not be capable of doing its job to the best of its ability. The proper coolant ratio should be found in the owner’s manual of your car, online, or you can call our dealership.
3. Your Car Is Leaking Coolant
Coolant leaks are one of the largest causes of engines overheating. A leak can occur for a variety of reasons. These include, but are not limited to, rust damage, punctured hoses from debris on the road, and improper maintenance. To spot leaks quickly, you should regularly check under the car to look for pooling liquids before driving.
4. Hose Blockages
Hoses are the main means by which fluid is able to flow through your engine and cool it down. Typically, coolant goes through these tubes, pulls excess heat from the engine, and then expels it into the surrounding cooler air. At times, these hoses get blocked with things like dirt and debris. If coolant is not able to flow freely, the engine has a much higher chance of overheating.
5. Improper Maintenance
One of the most important things about owning an automobile is to have regular maintenance performed. In regards to cooling, your cooling fluids should be flushed on a regular basis. To best prevent overheating, it is important that your car is always inspected by an accredited and trustworthy mechanic. If your car is inspected without looking into its cooling systems, critical failures can easily be overlooked which will cause your car to overheat down the road.
6. Lack of Airflow To Radiator
At times, the front grill to your car, which is the most direct access to your radiator, can become blocked with dirt, trash, or brush. While you are driving down the road, one of the easiest ways to cool the engine is simply by making sure the surrounding air can flow freely through the grill and cool down the engine. If trash, dirt, or brush builds up on the grill, it can block air from getting through, which means the hot air in the engine gets contained and overheats your engine. This is one of the easiest fixes.
7. Faulty Cooling Fans
Another way that your engine is cooled is through cooling fans. The idea is that these fans are able to blow away the much hotter air created by the engine and replace it with cooler air. Over time, like any piece of mechanical equipment, this fan can go bad and need to be replaced. Because fans are often overlooked, it is important that trained professionals inspect them regularly.
8. Broken Radiator Cap
If there is no radiator fluid pressure, then it cannot expel heat to the surrounding air. This is because there is no driving force of the fluid to begin with. All of the pressure is escaping through the damaged radiator cap. This can be compared to trying to drink through a straw that has a hole half way down. Lack of pressure can make it difficult for the liquid to get to the top of the straw because it keeps escaping through the leak.
Regardless of what’s actually causing your vehicle to overheat, you will always want to take it to an ASE-certified mechanic that is properly trained to handle this issue. For the best mechanic services in Central Missouri, be sure to visit us at Bryant Motors today. We’re conveniently located in Sedalia, MO and our friendly service department is standing by to fix the problem quickly and affordably.