There are many things that can get in the way of smooth driving—drunk driving, poor vision, road rage, sleepy driving, and engine trouble caused by overheating. It pays that you know engine trouble shooting. Before taking out your tool box, you need to answer this question first: Does your car’s engine have enough antifreeze in the radiator?

Common causes of overheating

You’d be able to know your car is on the verge of overheating by looking at that plastic bottle and removing the radiator cap.  When the engine has cooled down, peek in the radiator. Look at the level of the water. In most cases cars hold 1.5 gallons of water mixture and coolant. Test the cooling pressure for leaks or cracks. You’ll be able to tell by looking at the engine compartment and spills on the ground.

Car Overheat 11 Why Does My Car Overheat

Front wheel drive cars have a cooling fan installed in front and behind the radiator. The cooling fan helps air flow across the radiator every time you stop and shift gear.  The fan has sensors that normalize your engine’s temperature.

As long as your car’s compressor is on, the air conditioning compressor needs the cooling fan working in idle mode. To check whether your cooling fan is working, switch on the air conditioner. The cooling fan switches on together with your car’s air con compressor. But some cars have two electric fans: one for the air conditioner condenser, the other for the radiator. The radiator is somewhere in the middle of the radiator. The radiator fan cools the engine, while the condenser fan increases air-conditioning while your car is at low speed.
Without an electric cooling fan on the radiator, your car should have a fan clutch and a fan   blade.  The fan pulls warm air from the radiator to the engine.

Steps to troubleshoot your overheating car

  • Check if the engine is actually overheating. Find out if there’s steam coming from the radiator, and not merely heat (heat is normal). At times your car’s temperature sensor may not work at all so it doesn’t show you any reliable reading.
  • Look closely if the cooling fan switches on when the engine temperature goes above normal. Then check the fan relay, fan sensor, and fan fuse. You should be able to smell something burning there. If your car is a new model, it should have a closed cooling system. When the level is low, you probably have a leak.
  • Turn on the engine and look for leaks. Do this only when you see that the coolant shoots up to the correct level then put the radiator cap back on. If it’s an internal leak you’ll see smoke or steam coming from the gasket, if not you find it hard to start the car. You see bubbles in the expansion tank. This doesn’t happen all the time.  Other times you’ll see that the engine oil looks like dirty milk. Your car’s lack of coolant flow may be caused by a blocked radiator and heater core, or that your thermostat has been shut. Sometimes your car’s water pump just conks out.

Car Overheat 1 Why Does My Car Overheat

  • Do not turn on the engine as you fill the radiator. You’d do well to simply open the bleed screws. As your radiator gets filled, the coolant runs out from the bleed points.  Keep doing that until the coolant spills out from the next bleed point. Then close the last one.
  • Continue doing this until coolant spills out from all bleed points. Continue filling up until you reach the right level. You will notice that the expansion tank shows a minimum or maximum level mark. When your engine colds down, fill the tank up to the minimum level only.

Overheating is not a one-sided problem, but it mainly results from these common reasons. Drive safely.

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Categories: Automotive

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