Top 7 Reasons Your Engine Is Overheating
Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs!
If you see steam coming from under your vehicle hood, the temperature gauge goes to “H,” or your dash lights up like the 4th of July, that’s an indication your engine is overheating. Don’t ignore the signs! Go directly to Colket Automotive for auto repairs. Here, our ASE-Certified technicians explain the why and what to do next for proper car care.
It’s Getting Hot in Here
1. Low Coolant Level
Caused by a leak in the radiator, a hose, the coolant overflow tank, heater core, engine block, or a cylinder head gasket, you will visibly see fluid on the ground or the engine. The coolant level in the overflow tank could also be low. If you don’t see leaking fluid, check the tank. Either way, visit an auto mechanic.
2. Radiator Problems
A loose or defective radiator cap will not properly pressurize the cooling system, lowering the boiling point of the coolant and causing the engine to overheat. Have the cap tested to see if it can still hold pressure before replacing it. Your radiator may also be clogged by dirt, debris, or corrosion. Clogged radiators can be cleaned unless there is excessive corrosion. A quality auto mechanic can help.
3. Broken Water Pump
The water pump circulates coolant, and when it breaks or the belt becomes loose or broken, a leak often occurs. This requires an auto repair.
4. Bad Thermostat
Coolant won’t circulate through the radiator and engine when the thermostat sticks in the “closed” position. Auto repair services are necessary in this situation.
5. Broken Engine Fan
Airflow is usually good enough to cool the radiator when driving on the highway. However, when you’re in stop-and-go traffic, the engine fan helps to circulate air on a hot day in Lansdale. Sometimes the motor or switch breaks which require auto repair. Older vehicles have a belt-driven fan that may also break.
6. Clogged Exhaust System
When the catalytic converter, or another part, becomes blocked, exhaust gas can’t escape. Visit your local auto repair shop for help.
7. Too Much Weight
Your vehicle owner’s manual states the towing capacity of your vehicle. If you tow too much weight, this can overheat the transmission and burden the brakes. For example, don’t hitch a 7,000-pound trailer to a vehicle designed to town 5,000 pounds.
What Do You Do Now?
When your engine overheats, there are a few things you should do. Immediately turn the air conditioner off to reduce stress on the engine. Then crank the heater to help pull heat away from the engine. Find a spot to safely pull over and shut your vehicle off for at least 15 minutes. While you wait, create a plan. Call a family member, tow truck, or the automotive repair experts at Colket Automotive. Go ahead and put (215) 393-5970 in your phone now! Once you’ve let the engine cool, check and add coolant if you have it and know how. If you aren’t being towed, carefully restart your vehicle and, if possible, drive straight to Colket Automotive if you’re in the Lansdale, Pennsylvania, area.
Remember, take care of your vehicle, and it will take care of you. The best way to prevent an overheated engine is to stick to a routine maintenance plan. Tune-ups, coolant flushes and exchanges, and oil changes all help, along with a trip inspection before a long road trip. The Colket Automotive team can help you keep track of maintenance services or perform any auto repairs. Call us at (215) 393-5970 or stop in and see us at 1513 N. Broad St, Suite B Lansdale, PA 19446 to schedule an appointment.