Reasons Why Your Car Is Overheating

January 4, 2022

Wondering why your car is overheating? It’s frustrating and worrying to see smoke coming from under the hood while you’re out on a drive, but car overheating is a common problem for many drivers. It’s also a problem that can cause permanent damage to your engine if you don’t get the issue resolved quickly. Here are some of the common reasons why your car may be overheating, as well as what you should do if it happens to you.

Why is my car overheating?

There are several reasons why your vehicle’s engine can overheat. Some problems require simple fixes like refilling the antifreeze, but major issues can lead to permanent damage if not addressed by a professional mechanic. Some of the common reasons that cause a car to overheat include:

  • Too little coolant: Your car’s engine needs coolant/antifreeze to function properly. Check your coolant levels and make sure they meet your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Leaky cooling system: If your car is low on coolant, it could be due to a cooling system leak. Check for spots or puddles on the ground to indicate a leak in the system.
  • Broken water pump: A vehicle’s water pump circulates coolant throughout the engine. Dirty coolant, or coolant with too much buildup, can prevent it from moving through the pump, causing the engine to overheat.
  • Radiator problems: Radiators and fans reduce engine heat by keeping coolant temperatures low. If there’s an issue with your fans, the radiator won’t be able to remove heat, leading to unnatural temperature increases.
  • Low oil: Oil does more than simply lubricate an engine’s parts—it also helps control the operating temperature of your engine. Get an oil change to maintain appropriate oil levels.
  • Thermostat issues: Much like your thermostat at home, your vehicle’s thermostat regulates engine temperatures. Thermostat failure can harm the engine, keeping coolant from flowing into the engine.
  • Belt and hose issues: Broken, blocked or ruptured coolant hoses disrupt coolant flow to the engine and can lead to significant damage.

What should I do if my car begins overheating?

As you drive, there are several signals to look for when it comes to car overheating. If you see the dashboard warning lights come on, notice smoke coming from the engine or feel as if your car isn’t driving as it normally does, here’s what to do:

  • Pull over safely and turn off the vehicle.
  • If you’re unable to safely come to a complete stop, keep the vehicle moving slowly to allow constant airflow around the engine.
  • As the vehicle is in motion, turn on the heat to pull additional heat away from the engine.
  • Open all the windows to release as much heat from the vehicle as possible.
  • Call for roadside service or assistance and take your vehicle to your trusted mechanic.

Car overheating is a serious problem that requires immediate attention from a reputable mechanic. If your engine has overheated, reach out to AAA Sandoval Transmissions right away. We’ll diagnose and treat the problem and get you back on the road in no time.

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