What Causes a Car To Overheat?

Nothing is as important as keeping your car cool when temperatures rise. Normally, you may not flinch if it's the typical movie scene with a car whose engine is smoking. But experiencing this in real life may throw you into a deep panic and a jarring halt. Smoke coming out of your engine indicates overheating.

Most cars are built to be durable and withstand extreme conditions. But when the temperature goes beyond the standard endurance level, it overheats. Of all the problems, overheating is the most serious. It's therefore vital to always be prepared for such unexpected issues. But what do you do if you have no mechanical experience or can't identify the cause?

You can follow these few precautions.

  • Pull over immediately
  • Get out of the car, and assess the situation but don't panic
  • Only keep moving if necessary or in unsafe locations to somewhere safe
  • Turn off the AC and increase the heat. It may pull some heat away from the engine
  • Roll down all the windows
  • Call for help immediately

Still, it's vital to understand some major causes of overheating.

Reasons Why a Car Overheats

Overheating means something is wrong with your cooling system. Here are the main reasons.

  • Radiator issues

This is an essential part of the cooling system, which pulls heat away from the engine. The engine is likely to overheat if something is wrong with the radiator, such as a build-up of dirt, debris, or dust.

  • Cooling system failure

The cooling system removes heat from your engine even as high as 4,500 degrees Fahrenheit, common in most combustion chambers. However, the car overheats if it fails due to a coolant leak or other problems.

  • Low Oil

Oil helps control the temperature of your engine by lowering friction. If the oil level is low due to a leak, increased friction will produce more heat, causing overheating.

  • Bad thermostat

The thermostat regulates the coolant, which keeps the engine from overheating. If the thermostat fails, the engine overheats due to poor coolant regulation.

  • Failing water pump

The water pump helps circulate the coolant through hoses to the radiator. A failing water pump interferes with this cycle causing overheating.

How to Prevent Overheating

Generally, the best way to avoid overheating is by routine inspection as guided by a technician. Also, ensure regular radiator servicing, coolant flushes, and exchanges. It's recommended to start this routine today by bringing your car to Village Transmission & Auto Clinic and also for engine repair and maintenance.

23901 84th Ave W. Edmonds, WA 98026 (425) 778-0194
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