An overheated vehicle is a sign that urgent auto repair is needed. Here's how to spot, diagnose, and fix problems with a hot engine.
Signs the Car Is Overheating
Any car engine will feel hot; it's part of the combustion process that runs the car. But a car is designed to keep the engine below a certain temperature threshold. When the cooling system fails in some way, the engine becomes dangerously hot.
One sign that your engine is overheating, and not just working at a normally high temperature, is that you see steam coming out of the engine or rising off the hood. Your car might tell you itself when there is a problem too; a thermometer symbol on the dashboard indicates a high engine temperature. In general, various parts of the vehicle might misfire when the engine is overheated, so you could simply see a check engine light.
Possible Causes of Overheating
There are various reasons why the cooling system would fail. A big one is a coolant leak. The coolant circulates continuously through the system to keep the engine cool, and when there is a lower volume of coolant than the engine requires, this fluid will become overheated and fail to do its job.
A broken water pump is another culprit. Since this pump is responsible for keeping the flow of coolant through the system, you will see the temperature of the engine rise if it's broken. The coolant is no longer being pumped through the car and redistributing heat.
Something foreign blocking the flow of coolant could also cause the issue. That might be a mineral deposit or a foreign object, for example. Anything blocking the flow of coolant becomes a big problem because it could overtax the water pump and cause it to break also (which would mean a much more expensive repair).
Maintenance to Correct and Prevent Engine Overheating
At any rate, an overheated engine needs to be looked at by an auto repair shop at your earliest convenience. They may replace the water pump for you, do a coolant flush and replace the fluids, or repair the radiator or another related part. They can also show you what's needed to keep the problem from recurring. Talk to your mechanic about how regular oil changes, regular coolant replacement, and general yearly inspections will help this and other engine problems from popping up in the future.
For more information, contact companies like PDR Automotive Inc.
My name is Amelia, and I have been a mom for about 20 years now. One thing I can tell you about kids is how difficult they can be on cars, which is why I made this blog. One day, I just got tired of driving around a car that smelled like the inside of a garbage bin, so I decided to make some changes. I implemented some rules in our family cars that really helped, and I worked hard to detail the interior, getting professional automotive cleaning and maintenance help as well. Check out this blog is you want to drive a car that looks just as good as it smells.