Car overheating

What Can Cause Engine Overheating?

Engine overheating is among the most serious car problems encountered by drivers in North Carolina. When your temperature gauge begins to approach the danger zone, it’s important to pull over as soon as possible. Not only can overheating leave you stranded, but the potential engine damage can be expensive to repair.

Car overheating

Here Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Overheating.

Leaks in the Cooling System

Leaks are by far the top reason for engine overheating. When the coolant level becomes too low, temperatures will quickly start to rise. This is why you should have your cooling system professionally inspected every year. Simply adding more coolant is only a temporary fix.

Parts prone to leaking coolant include the thermostat housing, hoses, heater core, and plastic reservoir. If a head gasket begins to leak, you have an even bigger problem on your hands. Aside from inducing engine overheating, a bad head gasket can also cause a major loss of power.

Bad Thermostat

A thermostat is a simple valve in your cooling system. However, it holds a big responsibility. The thermostat’s job is to help the engine to maintain the correct temperature.

If the thermostat fails in a closed position, the coolant will no longer be able to pass through the radiator. Engine overheating can occur quickly, especially on a hot summer day. The good news is that new thermostats are not expensive.

A Busted Hose Can Cause Overheating

It’s important for worn-out coolant hoses to be replaced in a timely manner. A burst hose will cause coolant to literally gush out of the engine. You’ll also notice steam pouring from underneath the hood.

To avoid overheating, check your coolant hoses from signs of wear and tear. Cracks and bulges in the hose are definite red flags. A soft hose also needs to be replaced.

Malfunctioning Water Pump

A properly functioning water pump barely makes a sound. If you start to hear a whining noise coming from the water pump, immediately bring in your vehicle for service. You may also notice coolant leaking from the part’s weep hole. At this point, the water pump is on borrowed time.

When a water pump fails, it can no longer propel coolant throughout the cooling system. Overheating is bound to occur at some point. The bright side is that you can expect a new water pump to last for 100,000 miles or more.

Overheating From a Bad Radiator Fan

A radiator fan, which enhances cooling by pulling air across the radiator, is an essential component. It’s designed to automatically kick on at a certain engine temperature. If the radiator fan isn’t working, overheating becomes a real possibility.

In some instances, the problem can be traced to a blown fuse. It only takes a few minutes to swap out an old fuse for a new one. You also can’t rule out a worn fan motor as the culprit. On the other hand, your fan may be in perfect working condition. A faulty temperature sensor may not be signaling the fan to turn on. Cleaning the sensor may fix the problem.

mildew smell from auto ac

Car AC Repair in Asheville, NC

Asheville’s four seasons are undoubtedly one of the benefits of living in this area. But North Carolina summers can be hot, especially if your car’s air conditioning fails. This is why many area residents trust Cox Auto Service on Druid Drive for their car AC repair.

Your car’s air conditioning system contains many working parts. These include a compressor, expansion valve, and two heat exchangers. The system also requires refrigerant fluid. Failure of any of these parts can lead to cooling problems. Below are some of the most common reasons why people need trusted car AC repair.

No Cold Air Flows from the AC

A refrigerant leak often causes the cold air to stop flowing from a car air conditioner. Without this important fluid in its system, the AC components stop working and you need car AC repair. A leak can occur for many reasons. The most common cause is a hole in one of the AC’s main parts, such as:

  • Hoses
  • Connections
  • Condenser
  • Compressor
  • Evaporator

To fix this problem, your trusted mechanic at Cox Auto Service adds a fluorescent leak tracer dye and refrigerant to your AC system. While the air conditioner runs, they use a blacklight to find the leak, then repair, evacuate and recharge your AC.

Air Does Not Flow through the Vents

Several component problems can cause air to stop flowing through your car’s vents. This type of car AC repair requires the skill of a knowledgeable technician, starting with diagnostics. Parts checked for this repair include:

  • Fuses and relays
  • Blower motor and blower resistor
  • Air intake vents
  • Belts and hoses

The technician typically starts repairing the AC with this problem by replacing fuses and the relay. From there, they can eliminate this quick repair issue if the air still does not flow as it should. Bigger problems generally require repair or replacement of non-working parts.

The AC Does Not Cool Enough

Low refrigerant causes air conditioning to get cool, but not cold enough. Other reasons for only slightly cool air from your AC can include a blocked or failed condenser or a failed clutch switch. To solve your car’s problem, the technician tests these components. He or she looks for damage, blockages in the system or part failure before starting your car AC repair.

A Mildew Odor from the AC

Car AC Repair

If you smell the noxious odor of mildew coming from your AC, you have bacteria growing in your system. Older vehicles and those where the AC is rarely used generally have this problem. It can also happen in vehicles frequently set for maximum cooling since excess moisture builds up in the unit during operation at this level.

For this car AC repair, you need the air filter replaced. This can fix the problem. If it does not, the technician must add an anti-bacterial fluid that clears contaminants and kills mold in the system.

The AC Makes Noise

If you turn on your car’s AC and hear odd noises like banging or rattling, this signals a problem. Sometimes the issue is simple, like leaves or other debris blocking the unit. But you may have a bigger issue, such as a worn-out bearing that grinds or squeals or a failed compressor clutch that rattles.

This car AC repair starts with inspection by a trusted technician. During this inspection, the auto mechanic can find which component is failing to replace it.

Water Dripping Onto Your Floorboards

Water dripping on your car’s floorboards from the AC generally means a chain of problems. These start with build-up of bacteria on the evaporator coil in the AC heater box under the dashboard. This bacteria combines with condensation and creates a slimy film that accumulates on the AC fins. Over time, the film clogs the drain line and causes water from condensation to drip onto your vehicle’s floor.

For repair of this problem, the technician first determines what is clogging the drain line and why. He or she then repairs or replaces the hose to fix your AC and get you back on the road in cool comfort.

AC Switching from Cold to Hot

When you turn on your AC, the last thing you expect is for it to blow hot air. This sometimes happens with a failed expansion valve. The expansion valve must properly dispense refrigerant to the evaporator for proper AC cooling. A blocked valve prevents this and can freeze from resulting moisture.

For this car AC repair, your auto technician tests the system’s pressure. He or she also inspects parts for malfunctions or blockages for proper diagnosis. If your car needs repair or replacement of these parts, they fulfill those needs.

Asheville’s Best Car AC Repair

Do you have problems with your car’s air conditioning? There is no reason to suffer in the summer heat of North Carolina. Simply call Cox Auto Service at 828-254-8661 to schedule your car AC repair or other services.

Auto Repair Shops Reveal the Biggest Used Car Red Flags

Auto Repair Shops Reveal the Biggest Used Car Red Flags

With COVID-19 hitting the economy so hard, some Asheville drivers are a bit hesitant to buy a brand-new car. Opting to purchase a used vehicle can save you thousands of dollars. However, you need to avoid buying a lemon. When shopping for a secondhand vehicle, auto repair shops warn you to watch out for these five red flags.

Discolored Motor Oil

Before even taking a test drive, auto repair shops advise used car shoppers to pull the oil dipstick. The color of the motor oil can reveal a lot about the vehicle. While it’s perfectly normal for motor oil to have a dark brown color, a black appearance indicates big trouble. The owner clearly didn’t make routine maintenance a big priority.

Milky motor oil is even more alarming. This is a result of antifreeze from the cooling system mixing with the oil. There’s a good chance that a blown gasket is the culprit.

Smoke

Far too many people fail to notice smoke coming from a used car’s tailpipe. You can prevent a major headache by having an auto repair shop inspect the vehicle beforehand. Bluish smoke is especially common, which stems from oil leaking into the exhaust manifold. On the other hand, black smoke is caused by a fuel problem.

White smoke is the worst of all. It’s only a matter of time before the vehicle needs to be towed. A damaged cylinder head could be the culprit, thus requiring a complete engine rebuild.

Worn Timing Belt

Some used vehicles are designed with a rubber timing belt. This belt’s job is to keep the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft turning at the same time. If the timing belt suddenly breaks, catastrophic engine damage may occur.

The bad news is that many car shoppers have no knowledge of a vehicle’s timing belt. This is yet another reason why a pre-purchase inspection is so critical. An auto repair shop can give you a rough estimate of the timing belt’s life expectancy.

Bad Wheel Alignment

Never buy a used car that has a bad wheel alignment. Aside from causing premature tire wear, a bad wheel alignment could indicate a previous accident. A bent frame can be extremely difficult to straighten. Because the damage is underneath the vehicle, it’s easy to go unnoticed.

If the vehicle tends to veer to one side, this is a surefire sign of a bad wheel alignment. An uneven steering wheel also points to an obvious problem.

Engine Runs Rough

Ideally, an engine should run smoothly with no hiccups. When test driving a pre-owned vehicle, take note of rough idling. It’ll definitely need to be examined by an auto repair shop.

Rough idling is often caused by old spark plugs. As the electrodes start to wear down, the spark plugs can no longer fire properly. A vacuum leak can also cause the engine to run rough. Although the parts to fix a vacuum leak usually aren’t expensive, tracking down the leak can be difficult for the average backyard mechanic.

Cox Auto Service