Most Common Reasons Your Car Overheats

Unless you have been living under a rock, then you know the triple digits are back. Come to think of it, even when under a rock you could still tell….those delta breezes just aren’t as breezy as they once were.

You know where this is going, right?

Unless you have space in your garage, your car is outside almost all the time. On top of that, it’s working to transport you and the family, in all likelihood maxing out the AC.

A car that is overheating is a sign that something is wrong; something inside the cooling system is preventing the release of heat, which means something is blocked or something is leaking. Some of the fixes can be done yourself, some we recommend an expert. Here are some of the most common culprits.

Coolant-Unfortunately, coolant is not a one-size-fits-all situation. If it’s the wrong coolant for your vehicle OR your coolant to water ratio is off, this can trigger an over-heat situation. Start by checking to ensure the system is full. If levels are good try draining the system, then fill it back to the recommended amount with the correct coolant, as per your owner’s manual.

Radiator- Any sort of clog, leak or fan issue prevents the release of heat from your engine. Radiator issues are best left to an automotive technician to assess and fix.

Cooling System Leak-This will be the most common cause of your engine overheating and could happen in 1 of many places; water pump, head gasket, radiator, thermostat housing or hoses. The good news is if you can find the leak, you may be able to seal it by yourself. The bad news is that this is a temporary fix. An automotive technician will need to replace sooner rather than later.

Water Pump- Pumping coolant throughout the entire cooling system in your car; that’s the water pumps job. Issues with water pump= overheating car. Most often, the problems are either leaks, shifting pump shaft, or eroded impeller vanes.

Blocked Hoses- If there are no fluid leaks to be found, then that means something is clogged. Your coolant hose may have some build up happening within. If that is the case, flushing the system is the recommended course of action.

The moral of the story? Do not ignore your overheating vehicle. Heat has a way of making a bad situation worse. If you happen to be driving around Sacramento and notice the temperature gauge hitting that uncomfortable red zone, turn the heat on in your car to move some of that hot air away from your engine, then bring your car to any one of our Kniesel’s Auto Care Centers. We’ll get you an Uber home, or back to work and we’ll get your vehicle out of the heat and will work on keeping it cool.

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