Any engine whether it be a car engine or truck engine, if it is liquid-cooled it will have a thermostat. A thermostat controls the temperature of the coolant traveling from the radiator to the engine. Once the engine reaches its operating temperature generally around 95 degrees celsius the thermostat opens to allow the cool water from the radiator to cool the engine.
Troubleshoot an engine overheating
- Step 1: Check the coolant level in the expansion tank and make sure water is in the radiator by removing the radiator cap. Make sure the engine is off and has cooled down before opening the radiator cap.
- Step 2: Make sure there is no air in the system. If you find air bubbles in the system it can cause the coolant to not circulate properly. Run the engine until all bubbles have disappeared and top up regularly with coolant.
- Step 3: Make sure the radiator fans are spinning. Run the car to operating temperature and ensure the fans kick in and spin.
- Step 4: Test the fan motor. This is the electric motor that turns the fan blades.
- Step 5: Check the serpentine belt is connected as this turns the water pump motor.
- Step 6: Check for leaks. Firstly check under the car’s engine on the floor. However small leaks do not leave a puddle on the ground. Check for any leaks around the rubber hoses connecting the radiator to the engine.
- Step 7: Check the thermostat. When a thermostat goes bad it will either be in the open or closed state. If it gets stuck in the closed state the coolant will not circulate properly.
- Step 8: Make sure there is oil in the engine. Pull out the dipstick and check the oil level.
Other Causes of car engine overheating.
Although there can be many different causes of an overheating issue, the reason your engine is overheating is that something inside the cooling system is preventing the absorption, transportation, or release of heat. Here are some reasons why heat isn’t leaving your engine compartment:
Leak in the Cooling System – This is the number ONE main cause of engine overheating. If you get a leak in your radiator, water pump, hoses, head gasket, or thermostat housing, your engine isn’t going to be able to cool properly. If you can find the leak, you may be able to seal it on your own, but you’ll probably benefit from bringing your car into an e-CAR workshop and having one of our expert mechanics have a look.
Coolant Issues – You can have problems with your coolant even if there isn’t a leak in the system. If you put the wrong coolant in your car, or if the coolant-to-water ratio is off, your engine may have problems staying cool. Try flushing the system and adding the proper mix as recommended by your owner’s manual.
Blocked Hoses – If there’s no leak and the coolant has been installed properly, the next thing you’ll want to check is your coolant hose. Sometimes dirt or road sediment can get into your coolant department and block the flow of fluid through your hoses. Flushing the system and refilling your coolant tank is once again the preferred course of action.
Radiator Problems – Another common cause of engine overheating is a problem with your radiator. Leaks, clogs, or problems with the radiator fan all mean that heat can’t properly escape your vehicle, which will cause the temperature to rise. A mechanic will be able to diagnose exactly what’s wrong with your radiator and what needs to be done to correct the problem.
Broken Water Pump – The water pump, as the name implies, helps pump and propel engine coolant throughout your cooling system. Any issue associated with the water pump can lead to an overheating engine. Common water pump problems include leaks, shifting of the pump shaft, or eroded impeller vanes.
If you notice your car is overheating, turn the heat on in your car, as this will help move hot air out of the engine compartment, and bring it to a trusty mechanic right away. Ignoring the problem can cause your engine system to fail, which can mean thousands of dollars in repairs!