Common Causes Of Engine Overheating


If your car is overheating, then it means something is probably wrong with its cooling systems. Below are some of the reasons a car engine might overheat.

Coolant Leak

The coolant absorbs heat from the engine and dumps it into the environment through the radiator. If the coolant is leaking, say after an auto accident, then there won't be enough coolant to absorb all the heat produced. This will cause the engine to overheat after some time.

Defective Thermostat

The thermostat's main role is to control the flow of coolant to the engine. The thermostat blocks the flow of coolant when the engine is still cold. Once the engine heats up and reaches a target temperature, the thermostat opens to allow the coolant to flow to and cool the engine. Unfortunately, a thermostat malfunction may block the flow of coolant even after the engine has heated up, leading to overheating.

Slipping Fan Clutch

As previously mentioned, the coolant picks up heat from the engine and dumps it outside. The dumping, technically heat exchange, occurs when the cool air comes into contact with the radiator (that carries the coolant). This means air should be continuously circulating through the radiator.

Efficient air circulation is not a problem at high speeds. However, if the car is idle or running at a low speed, it needs help to get adequate air through the radiator. Some cars have a fan with a clutch mechanism that engages and disengages to facilitate airflow. The fan engages when the car is running or still, but the engine is hot, and then it disengages when the engine cools down. A malfunction of the mechanism, therefore, can cause the engine to overheat since it won't be getting adequate air.

Clogged Radiator

As mentioned above, efficient air circulation is necessary to help cool air absorb heat from the radiator. However, this will be a problem if the radiator is clogged with debris or mud. In such a case, the debris will insulate the radiator from the cool air, reducing the effectiveness of heat exchange. This may be the case, for example, if you have driven through muddy or dusty roads for some time without cleaning the radiator.

Restricted Exhaust

Lastly, your engine can also overheat because its exhaust system is restricted. Exhaust gases are extremely hot since they are byproducts of combustion. Normally, the exhaust gases are vented out of the engine as soon as they are produced. However, the gases might accumulate in the engine if the exhaust system is restricted, leading to engine overheating.

For more information, reach out to a company like August European.


19 November 2019

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