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What Causes a Car To Overheat?

If your car is tending to overheat, it is particularly important that you have it seen to. Overheating can cause damage to your engine if left unchecked. Below is a list of probable causes for your car to overheat.

Radiator Airflow Blockage

Your radiator is cooled by air flowing through the grid and the thin pipes in the grid. The air that is both forced through the forward motion of the car and assisted by a fan that pulls it through the radiator, helps dissipate the heat. Blockages to this grid will prevent the air from flowing and cause the coolant not to cool down.

This can be caused by riding through tall grass or an accumulation of insects and other solid matter over time. A solution is to have it cleaned but be careful not to damage the grid and compromise the piping in the process.

Low Coolant Levels

The engine cooling system is sealed and operates under pressure. If the smallest leak in the system occurs, coolant is lost. If the coolant runs too low, then the water pump can no longer circulate it and the engine will overheat. Make sure you keep the system full of a mixture of water and coolant.

Beware not to open the system when the car is overheated as you will run the risk of severe steam scalding. Rather wait for the engine to cool down before adding water and coolant. Also, have the system checked for minor leaks.

Rapid loss of Coolant

The third plausible reason for overheating could be the rapid loss of colling fluids because of a major leak. Major leaks can be the result of damages to the systems feed pipes, or due to engine seals being compromised. The latter can be checked by looking to see if there is any water mixed in with your oil. This can be checked via the dipstick. If your oil is not clear or black, it possibly has water mixed in. Do not use your vehicle if this is the case.

Water Pump Failure

Another plausible cause could be that your water pump is no longer circulating the coolant/water mix through the system.

A word of friendly money-saving advice: if your car is overheating, bring it in to our auto repair shop today!