4 Common Engine Overheating Causes you Need to Know

Everyone who owns and drives a car should know engine overheating causes. You wouldn’t want fumes to suddenly appear from your engine while you’re cruising down the street right?

An overheated engine occurs when the ability of the cooling system of your engine to absorb, transfer and evaporate heat is decreased. Most engines are designed to operate within a normal temperature that is around 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to Jason Unrau, when your engine starts operating at around 240 degrees F or higher, you should already be concerned. Operating at a constant normal temperature range is essential for maximized performance and appropriate emissions control.

The most common symptoms of an overheating engine are when the temperature meter gauges to the red zone, the engine hot warning lights start to signal, and steam begins to appear from the engine. Below are engine overheating causes you need to look out for.

engine overheat

Are you Sure That Your Cooling System Is not Leaking?

The most common of all engine overheating causes is when the engine’s cooling system starts to leak. The possible areas to look out for outflows are the radiator, heater core, water pump, head gasket, hoses, cylinder head(s) and automatic transmission cooler.

To avoid leakage in the cooling system, make it a point to regularly conduct a pressure test. Your Mechanic suggests that a leak-free engine can hold pressure from 12 to 15 psi for 15 minutes.

In the case that a leakage in pressure occurs, there is possibly dripping in the internal coolant. This can occur from a cracked cylinder or engine block, or simply a bad head gasket.

Aside from this, you could also try doing a pressure test on the radiator cap. A radiator cap with a low-pressure endurance can cause the coolant to escape from the radiator, which can also cause the cooling system to leak.

Do you Maintain Your Thermostat in Good Condition?

A Thermostat is a heat-sensitive valve that responds to the engine temperature. An engine coolant that is heated passes through the radiator when the thermostat is open. When it is closed, it prevents the flow of coolant to speed up which then warms up a cold engine.

When the thermostat stays on the closed position over time, the coolant then stays in the engine and thus the reason for overheating.

To check the condition of the thermostat, start up the engine and check the upper radiator hose. You could also use an infrared noncontact thermometer to read the temperature.

Upon doing this, the hose should not feel extremely hot until the engine starts to warm up and the thermostat should also open. If it remains closed and if the hose does not get hot, it simply means that it is stuck.

Another way of checking whether the thermostat is still in good shape is to remove it then dip it in a pan of boiling water. By doing this, the thermostat should have opened.

Usually, when the thermostat is already in bad condition, the solution is to replace it. When replacing a thermostat, make sure to install one that has the same temperature rating as the original. This usually has a temperature range of 192 to 195 degrees F.

Keep in mind that air can possibly be trapped under the thermostat when refilling the cooling system. This can lead to the formation of a steam pocket that also prevents the thermostat from opening and therefore effects to an overheating engine.

Are you Using the Appropriate Coolant Concentration?

The coolant is the antifreeze component in the engine. An engine can also overheat when the antifreeze has transformed into a ‘gel-like’ structure and thus cannot circulate. This turns into one of your major engine overheating causes.

That is why you should make sure to use a coolant that is recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle. ASC Industries states that the wrong type of coolant, or a coolant that has the wrong concentration can result to this.

Check Whether Your Engine’s Fan Belt Is Broken or not

The task of a fan belt is to regulate the water pump at the right speed that results in proper coolant flow in the cooling system. When the belt is loose or broken, its ability to maintain proper speed is disabled.

This can cause the engine of your car to overheat quickly. A broken fan belt, however, is easy to tell and it is bought at a cheap price and is easy to fix. A way to avoid a loose or broken fan belt is to regularly check its tension and condition.

car overheat

Conclusion: Prevent Your Engine From Overheating

These are just a few of the most common causes of an overheated engine. Simply knowing the causes can help prevent you getting stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time with an overheated engine.

Always make sure to take good care of your car and regularly check if there is anything wrong with the engine just keep in mind the usual engine overheating causes.