Overheating ranks among the most serious summer car problems. Every year, this issue causes thousands of North Carolina drivers to be left stranded on the side of the road. If you want to avoid the stress, be sure to have your vehicle serviced and inspected before the weather starts to get hotter. Here are the top causes of an overheated engine.
Top 6 Causes of Cars & Trucks Overheating Include:
A Low Level Of Coolant
Mechanics consider a low level of engine coolant to be the #1 cause of overheating. If there’s not an adequate amount of coolant in the system, temperatures can rise quickly. This is especially true when stuck in traffic on a hot summer day.
Slow leaks will gradually cause your vehicle to lose antifreeze. To be on the safe side, develop a habit of checking the coolant level every couple of weeks. It’s a simple task that’ll only take a few minutes out of your day.
Modern radiators are engineered to last for a long time. However, poor maintenance will cause them to go bad sooner than expected. When the coolant system isn’t flushed at the recommended intervals, sediment builds up inside the radiator. These mineral deposits can poke holes in the radiator, thus leading to leaks.
While there are radiator “stop leak” products on the market, your best bet is to stay far away from them. Not are these gooey products ineffective in the long run, but they can also plug your water pump. The best approach is to invest in a new radiator.
Bad Radiator Fan
When your car’s engine temperature reaches a certain temperature, the radiator fan is programmed to automatically turn on. It pulls air across the radiator, which ultimately helps enhance cooling when idling or driving at low speeds. If the fan stops working, overheating will be more likely to occur.
There are a few different reasons why a radiator fan fails. In many instances, its motor simply burns out. A blown fuse is another common culprit.
Summer weather can cause an old hose to suddenly burst. Overheating is almost a certainty. Over time, the rubber eventually starts to weaken from constant expose to the extremely hot coolant. This is why you should have your hoses inspected at least once a year.
There are some telltale signs that a hose needs to be replaced. If it looks swollen or feels soft, don’t wait to schedule a visit with your mechanic.
Bad Water Pump
A water heater pump is responsible for circulating antifreeze throughout your vehicle’s cooling system. When the water pump stops working, expect your vehicle’s temperature needle to quickly approach the danger zone.
The good news is that a water pump typically gives a few warning signs before it fails. When this component is on its last leg, its pulley often begins to produce a whining sound. You may also notice coolant leaking from the water pump’s weep hole.
Although a thermostat is a simple valve, it remains one of the most important parts of a vehicle’s cooling system. The purpose of this feature is to help the engine to quickly reach its normal operating temperature. If the radiator fails in a closed position, coolant will no longer be able to pass through. Unsurprisingly, engine temperatures will instantly rise.
Most of today’s vehicles feature “Fail-Safe” thermostats. These thermostats are designed to lock in an open position when they go bad, thus preventing overheating.