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.
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.
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.