Reasons Why A Vehicle's Engine Overheats
The ideal temperature for most vehicle engines’ ranges between 85 to 105 degrees. However any defects within the engine’s components will cause an abnormal rise in temperatures leading to the overheating of your vehicle. Some of the most common reasons why you might find your engine overheating are
Your vehicle’s engine may not cool properly if there’s a leak in your car’s radiator, water pump, head gasket, hosepipes or thermostat housing. The leaks may be as a result of general wear and tear and you need to contact your mechanic to fix the situation before it deteriorates.
The engine may overheat if you install the wrong coolant. It can also find it difficult to stay cool if the water to coolant ratio in the cooling system is inaccurate.
Leaks, clogs or problems with the radiator fan means that heat can’t properly escape your vehicle, which will cause a rise in temperature.
The water pump is a simple centrifugal pump driven by a belt connected to the crankshaft of the engine whose work is to circulate fluids whenever the engine is running therefore any problems with it can result to the engine overheating.
If there are no leaks and the coolant is properly installed, you might need to check your hose pipes which may have accumulated dirt and other unwanted particles blocking the flow of fluid. You can remedy the situation by flushing the system and refilling the coolant tank.
Oil lubricates the engine and contributes to the cooling system of the vehicle by removing up to 70% of the unused heat in the engine. However when oil levels are low there is minimal friction which prevents excess heat from escaping as the engine is running. Ensure that you constantly check your oil levels and always top up when you start running low.
What you need to do
Be equipped and always have some spare water and coolant, especially when you plan to travel over long distances.
Inspect your radiator cap and replace it when necessary as it plays a crucial role in maintaining pressure in your entire cooling system as it prevents overheating and boiling over of therefore a weak and worn out cap results to decreased pressure and which can cause the engine to overheat.
Monitor your temperature gauge and look out for unusual temperature levels. In case temperatures rise to abnormal levels pull over, shut the vehicle and open the hood to allow the engine to cool off faster. If you must continue driving, wait for at least 20 minutes for the engine to cool off.
Turn off the AC and turn on the heater. Even though this may be a little uncomfortable for you and your passengers it will greatly assist in transferring heat off the engine into the passenger compartment.
Look for leakages from the coolant system, radiator, hoses and the engine area
Drive smoothly which is particularly important in a stop and go traffic situation because when you accelerate and break in quick succession you increase the engines workload causing it to work overtime, generating more heat than is necessary.
Do not be caught off guard! Have a safety and tool kit in your vehicle at all times just in case of an emergency
What Not To Do
There are also some things that you need to avoid or you might be setting up your car for trouble or worse still endangering your safety and that of your passengers.
Do not continue driving because if you do you run the risk of boiling your cooling system and permanently damaging your engine.
Do not turn on your AC to cool down the vehicle, in fact you should instead turn off the heat that has the effect off transferring the heat off the engine into the passenger compartment.
Do not pour water over the engine because a sudden change in temperature can easily crack the engine’s body.
Do not remove the engine’s radiator cap while the engine is still hot because the coolant is still scorching hot and can spray out and burn you in the process.
You need to take full responsibility of the well-being of your engine because should extensive damage occur, you may be forced to replace it entirely which can prove quite costly hence be sure to take proper measures to reduce instances of your engine overheating.