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Causes of car engine overheating

Causes of car engine overheating

October 17, 2021

This merry family gets into the car excited about spending time on a weekend out, and after a few hours on the road… disaster strikes. Smoke starts to rise from the engine, and the family must stop in the middle of the road because of engine overheating. What will happen next?! No summer horror movie is complete without this iconic scene, but it’s not something you’ll want to repeat on your next road trip! Make sure you are prepared in the event of a disaster and know the reasons why.

engine overheating

Signs of engine overheating

If you can take steps to cool down your engine before it overheats to cause a complete failure, you may reduce the risk of possible permanent engine damage. But first, you should notice the symptoms of overheating, which can include: steam coming from under the hood of the car, The engine temperature gauge on the car’s dashboard is red, or a strange smell is coming from the engine area.

 Why do engines overheat?

Engines can overheat for many reasons. Generally, this is due to something wrong inside the cooling system and the inability of heat to escape from the engine compartment. The source of the problem may include a leaking cooling system, a defective radiator fan, a broken water pump, or a clogged coolant hose. Regardless of the source of the problem, engine overheating is not something you can ignore, as your engine can suffer seriously, if not permanent damage. We will explain these reasons in detail to help you avoid them:

engine overheating

Engine gasket problem

The gasket in your car keeps the engine block and cylinder head separated. If damaged, coolant can enter the combustion chamber and oil can enter the cooling system. Although this can cause an obvious coolant leak, it can also cause coolant levels to drop without a noticeable leak. You may also notice white oil and white smoke coming from the exhaust.

Radiator fan damaged

We mentioned that the air that flows over the radiator helps remove heat from the engine, but the air only plays this role when your car is moving. So when your vehicle stops, the radiator fan will start spinning, this fan will move air through the radiator. If it breaks down for one reason or another, which might cause engine overheating when it’s idle, only to cool down again once you start moving. In any case, the fan must be repaired or replaced in this case, or else engine overheating will occur.

Low coolant ratio

The cooling system helps remove a lot of excess heat, and the coolant does most of the work. The fluid absorbs heat from the engine and then the water pump pumps it into the radiator where it is cooled. Once the fluid loses heat, it circulates again through the engine. So if your cooling system doesn’t have enough coolant, it won’t run efficiently, which will cause the engine to overheat. We recommend checking coolant levels regularly, it’s easy to take a quick look while checking the oil for example. If you are losing coolant due to a leak in your vehicle, it is important to have a check done so that specialists can determine the source of the leak.

Broken water pump

The water pump circulates the coolant through the cooling system. It is called a water pump because the coolant was at one time… just water. These days, coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze, but the “water pump” designation has remained unchanged. If the water pump is damaged, the coolant may not circulate properly, or it may stop spinning completely, causing the engine to overheat even if your vehicle’s coolant levels are fine.

 Thermostat malfunction

The thermostat controls the flow of coolant. When your car engine is just starting, the thermostat valve remains closed and does not rotate. Once the engine has reached operating temperature, the valve will open and coolant will begin to flow through the engine. A faulty thermostat may remain closed even when the engine is hot, which can quickly overheat.

Radiator damage

The radiator is where the coolant goes, the coolant travels through tubes in the radiator. Fins attached to these tubes collect heat from the fluid, and air passing over the radiator removes heat. If the radiator is damaged in an accident, it may not be able to do so effectively. In addition, the coolant cap is designed to keep your cooling system adequately cool. If the cap is damaged, the coolant may simply boil and escape from the system through the damaged opening instead of being cooled properly.

if you want to read more, visit our MotorWheels blog as well as our MotorWheels website that specializes in everything car-related.

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