All cars need to run at their optimal temperature to run properly; if a car is not warmed up enough, it may sputter and come to a halt, while overheating cars can cause damage to the engine and other components and bring you to a stop.
Overheating in cars can prove to be a costly affair as it can cause long-term damage to the internals of an engine.
Let’s take a look at 10 common causes for overheating in cars:
- Coolant level low – This is the most obvious issue that plagues most overheating cars. Coolant helps in heat absorption which the engine makes while running, and keeps a car’s engine at the right temperature. The coolant runs through the engine block via the radiator and continuously flows between the engine and radiator. If the car’s coolant level is low, it can cause the engine temperature to rise.
- Wrong coolant used – There are different types of coolants used by car manufacturers and it is imperative that the right coolant, that has been approved by the manufacturer is used in a car. Using the wrong coolant could lead to overheating. Check the owner’s manual to find the right coolant for your car.
- Coolant hose blocked – Even if the coolant is topped up, your car may overheat if the coolant hose is blocked due to dirt getting into the hose. Coolant has to continuously run through the radiator and engine to keep it cool, which requires the hoses to be clean and free of dust.
- Radiator damaged/leak/clog – The radiator is an important part of a car engine’s cooling process as it moves heat from the engine and brings in cool air. If the radiator has leaks or clogs, or the fan is damaged, it may not run at its optimum and cause the car to overheat.
- Leak in other cooling components – Leaks in cooling components like the water pump, coolant hose, radiator, thermostat or gasket can cause a car to overheat very quickly, if the engine is running.
- Engine oil level low – An automobile engine generates a lot of heat due to friction, and the engine oil helps lubricate, and cool then engine, to an extent. Low engine oil levels can damage the engine components and also cause excess heat.
- Damaged water pump – A water pump in the engine cooling system helps move coolant to keep the engine cool. A damaged water pump will not pump coolant and in turn cause overheating of the engine.
- Damaged head gasket – The head gasket holds together the cylinder head and engine block, and a damaged head gasket could cause oil and coolant to mix and result in an overheated engine.
- Malfunctioning thermostat – The thermostat is the brains of the cooling system in a car. If the thermostat is closed, it will not allow hot coolant to escape the engine, in turn resulting in a very hot engine.
- Malfunctioning engine temperature gauge – The engine temperature gauge in the dashboard tells drivers the temperature of the engine. If this temperature gauge does not function accurately, the driver will not know the temperature of the engine and they may run the car even if the temperature rises to a serious degree that could cause damage to the engine.