Car Overheating: What to Do & What may be causing it

Service facilities around the UK saw a 20% increase in car overheating cases in July 2022. As the government issued heatwave warnings. While modern cars are well-equipped with sophisticated cooling systems. We learned from collective experience that overheating is still a possible annoyance. When the cooling system of the car cannot remove the heat produced by the engine, the result is overheating. The engine may suffer significant damage if the heat couldn’t be removed due to this incapacity to do so. Low coolant levels, damaged radiators, and broken water pumps are a few common causes of car overheating.

Car overheating can be harmful in a number of different ways

For starters, it might cause the engine to seize, which would be expensive to fix and might possibly render the car useless. Additionally, an overheated engine runs the risk of catching fire, which is dangerous. The driver and passengers may also be in danger if a car overheats. Since it may lead it to break down on the side of the road, leaving them stranded. What causes a car to overheat and how long a car can overheat before suffering irreparable harm will be covered in detail below.

car overheating

What leads to a car overheating?

Car overheating may result from a number of factors, including:

1. The car’s low coolant level indicator.

Because the coolant is in charge of keeping the engine at the proper temperature, low coolant levels are a frequent cause of car overheating. The engine won’t be able to control its temperature if there isn’t enough coolant in the system, leading to overheating. Low coolant levels can cause the engine to suffer serious damage, including metal parts melting or warping.

2. An unreliable radiator cap

Because it is in charge of preserving the ideal pressure in the cooling system, a broken or malfunctioning radiator cap might lead to a car overheating. The radiator cap may be unable to maintain the proper pressure if it is not working properly, which could lead to the coolant boiling at a lower temperature. As a result, the coolant may overheat since it is unable to absorb enough heat from the engine to maintain a safe operating temperature. A defective radiator cap may also allow coolant to seep into the air, which could result in low coolant levels and overheating.

3. A malfunctioning water pump

Because the water pump is in charge of distributing coolant throughout the engine, it can cause your car to overheat. If the coolant is not leaking, the engine won’t be able to properly regulate its temperature and will get excessively hot. The coolant is responsible for absorbing heat from the engine and carrying it away. Overheating may result from the water pump’s inability to disperse the coolant properly if it is not operating correctly. Low coolant levels brought on by a broken water pump might exacerbate the problem of overheating.

4. An obstruction in the radiator

If the radiator is blocked, the engine won’t be properly cooled by the coolant and it won’t be able to effectively dissipate heat. If not rectified, this could lead to the engine overheating and suffering serious damage. A clogged radiator may be the consequence of a buildup of dirt and debris or a problem with the radiator itself.

5. Ineffective thermostat repair

The thermostat is in charge of controlling the coolant flow through the engine. The thermostat may not be able to open and close as required to permit the right flow of coolant if it is not operating properly. Because the coolant cannot adequately circulate and absorb heat, the engine may get excessively hot. By either allowing too much coolant to flow through the engine or not enough coolant to flow through it, a malfunctioning thermostat can lead to overheating. In either scenario, the engine will become overheated since it won’t be able to sustain the ideal operating temperature.

5. Head gasket blowout

Damaged head gasket- because the head gasket seals the engine block and cylinder head and aids in maintaining optimum engine compression, a bad head gasket can make a car overheat. Overheating and low coolant levels might result from a ruptured head gasket that allows coolant to leak into the combustion chamber. A bad head gasket can also result in the engine losing compression, which reduces power, increases engine temperature, and results in poor fuel efficiency.

7. Gearbox that is too hot

The gearbox is too hot -The gearbox produces a lot of heat when in use, so a separate cooling system was installed to prevent it from overheating. Overheating may result from the radiator’s coolant boiling if the gearbox heats up too much. Additionally, an overheated gearbox can cause the fluid to degrade and lose its lubricating qualities, which can result in overheating and gearbox damage. To prevent further damage and the car from overheating, it is crucial to routinely check the gearbox fluid level and to have the gearbox serviced if it overheats. It’s important to have your vehicle inspected by a professional at a reliable car care facility if you’re unsure of what’s overheating it. They’ll be able to identify the issue and swiftly suggest the required fixes.

Additional Reading: Car Safety Checklist: Tips & Driving Safety Advice

To prevent irreversible engine damage, it’s imperative to act quickly if your automobile is overheating. You can follow the instructions listed below:

Reasons of car overheating

1. Switch on the furnace and turn off the air conditioner. This will assist in removing heat from the engine.

2. Locate a safe location to stop, turn off the engine.

3. Inspect the coolant level and top it out if necessary.

4. Verify that the radiator cover is secure and free of damage.

5. Use a coolant additive to assist bring down the temperature if the automobile is still overheating.

6. The best option is to call a tow truck or roadside assistance agency if none of the other measures worked. Driving a hot automobile longer than necessary can seriously harm the engine.

How long can an automobile get too hot before it suffers irreparable harm?

Overheat warning – The length of time that a car can overheat before experiencing engine damage is difficult to determine since it can vary based on a number of variables, including the age and condition of the automobile, the level of the overheating, and the outside temperature. To avoid serious engine damage, it’s generally preferable to avoid operating an overheating vehicle for a lengthy period of time. It’s critical to respond quickly if your automobile is overheating to prevent engine damage. Try stopping the engine or the air conditioner, turning on the heating, stopping in a secure location, and checking the radiator cap and coolant level. Use a coolant additive, get a tow truck, or get roadside help if the automobile is still overheating.

Last thoughts

While your car’s cooling system will often be able to support you, you might experience problems with your car overheating. Don’t freak out if you think your car is overheating. Determine the specific source of your car’s overheating before attempting any DIY repairs. It’s important to rely on professional counsel from seasoned mechanics and car service facilities if you’re overwhelmed or unable to resolve the problem.

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