One of the scenarios that we dread the most is to get stuck in traffic on a hot summer day, then all of a sudden you see that white smoke coming out of the front of your car — a sign that your car’s engine is overheating! And of course, it always seems to happen when you least expect it.
Aside from the inconvenience that it causes you, overheated car engines should be taken seriously as it can cause damage to your car. Overheating can warp the cylinders or cause the head gasket to crack leading to water leaking into the cylinders of the car’s engine. The best way to prevent an overheating car engine is to know what causes it. Here are the most common causes of an overheated car.
Leak in the cooling system
A leak in the cooling system is one of the most common causes of an overheating car. You will know if the overheat is caused by a leak in the coolant system if the water or antifreeze level is continuously low. When this happens, your car’s engine won’t be able to cool properly, plus, the bubble of air that will be sucked in through the leak adds up to it.
Condensation building up in the coolant system is a problem that you encounter when the temperature drops during the winter season. When this happens, it can cause a blockage leading to engine overheating and may harm the radiator. Lower quality of coolant and wrong ratio of coolant to water can also cause condensed coolant.
Blocked coolant hose
Another cause of an overheating car is a blockage in the coolant hose. A blockage may be caused by a broken thermostat or accumulation of dirt that has entered the coolant system. Because of this, liquid won’t be able to flow properly through the radiator to cool down the heat. To prevent overheating caused by coolant hose blockage, make sure to flush the system regularly and refill the coolant tank.
If your coolant is in perfect condition and there is no leak in the cooling system, yet your car still overheats, check your car’s radiator. Radiator problems such as leaks, clogs or even a broken radiator fan can increase the possibility of overheating.
Broken water pump
The water pump works by circulating coolant to the engine and reducing heat in the process. If the water pump fails, then it wouldn’t be able to completely circulate the coolant.
When your car engine overheats, it is important to minimize the damage as much as possible until you can bring it to a professional mechanic. Turn off your car’s AC right away to reduce the load on your engine. Then turn your heater on to blow off the excess heat from the engine out of the car. If the car overheats in the middle of the road, park it on the side and rev the engine. Then open the hood to release the heat.