An overheating automobile is dangerous. Not only could the radiator cap explode, but your vehicle could also catch on fire. An engine that constantly runs too hot will also breakdown. The damage could be as severe as a cracked engine block, which is catastrophic. Accurate Auto can find out why your vehicle is overheating and fix the problem. Here are common reasons why an engine overheats.
Blocked Coolant Circulation
Your vehicle’s cooling system circulates coolant throughout the engine to draw heat away from the moving parts to keep their temperature down. If there is a clog somewhere in the system, usually in the hoses, the coolant will be unable to circulate through the engine and the engine will overheat.
Cracked Cooling System Hoses
Clogs aren’t the only problem with cooling system hoses. The hoses can also crack and get holes in them. This will cause the engine coolant to leak out of the hoses and drain the radiator and overflow reservoir. Your engine will overheat if the coolant levels are too low or have drained completely.
Dirty Cooling System
As the coolant circulates through the engine, it can pick up engine debris. This is why it’s a good idea to have your coolant flushed and refilled every 30,000 miles or per your owner’s manual. Dirty coolant is not as effective, and it can also contaminate portions of your engine as it runs through it.
Malfunctioning System Parts
There are two parts in the cooling system that will make your vehicle overheat if they malfunction. The thermostat releases the coolant as the engine heats up, and the radiator fan blows over the radiator to cool down the hot coolant. If either part fails, your engine will overheat until you get it replaced.
Radiator Air Inlet Trouble
Outside air also helps reduce hot coolant temperatures. The coolant that absorbs the engine’s heat is returned to the radiator where it cools off before it’s circulated again. The radiator has an outside air inlet that blows air over it. If the inlet is clogged, the coolant may be too hot once it circulates again.
Finally, the radiator itself can get damaged. The most common thing that happens to a radiator is rust damage. Radiators are made from aluminum or steel, and the coolant inside of the radiator encourages oxidation. Old radiators will rust, and that rust will eat a hole through the radiator’s bottom.