Here’s the thing: Your car’s engine should never overheat. This isn’t something that can happen every once in a while. It’s not normal. Today’s automobiles are designed to maintain the engine’s temperature in the worst possible driving conditions, so if your car, truck, or utility vehicle keeps overheating, there’s something wrong. DOC Auto lists eight possibilities below.
1. Coolant Level Is Too Low
It’s a good idea to pop the hood and check your engine’s coolant level regularly. If the coolant is too low, your engine will overheat. If you keep adding coolant to the radiator and overflow, there’s something going on with the cooling system. You should never have to add coolant. It’s encased in the engine.
2. Coolant Is Leaking
So we’ll be Captain Obvious for a second and say that if you do have to add coolant to your engine you’ve probably got a coolant leak somewhere. Leaks are often caused by a hole in one of the cooling system hoses. Coolant can also leak out of the radiator, heater core, or the water pump.
3. Speaking of the Water Pump
The water pump can also cause your engine to overheat if it is broken and cannot circulate the coolant. The water pump can also get clogged by dirt, debris, and grime. If the coolant is unable to perform its job, your engine will be deprived of the precious coolant it needs to prevent overheating.
4. Radiator Leaks or Fan Trouble
The most common cause of a radiator leak is age. Coolant resting at the bottom of the radiator for years will eventually rust the metal. The oxidation eats a hole through the metal and, voila, you’ve coolant leaking out of it. The radiator fan can also malfunction, rendering it useless in cooling down hot coolant.
5. Thermostat Has Gone Bad
To get everything started in your vehicle’s cooling system, the engine must reach a certain temperature as gauged by the thermostat. Once the engine starts heating up, the thermostat opens up a valve to get the coolant pumping through the water pump. A bad thermostat will not release the coolant.
6. Belts and/or Engine Parts Going Bad
The water pump and radiator fan are operated by the serpentine belt. If this belt is loose, cracked, or otherwise failing, it will directly affect how these parts work. Some overheating engine parts can also make the entire engine overheat, such as the fuel pump or a cracked exhaust manifold.
7. Heater Core Clogs or Leaks
The heater core uses hot engine coolant to keep your car’s interior warm. A fan blows the air over tubes in the heater core to warm it. The heater core then passes the hot coolant into the radiator. If the core is clogged or leaking, the coolant will never make its way into the radiator.
8. Low or Dirty Motor Oil
Finally, dirty and/or low motor oil will not only overheat your engine but also destroy it. We don’t mean to sound dramatic but, seriously, if you don’t change your motor oil regularly you’re just asking for devastating engine damage the can easily be avoided.
A full-service auto repair shop in Fredericksburg, VA, DOC Auto is here to fix your vehicle’s overheating problem. Call us today.