With record summer temperatures sweeping the United States, drivers around the country are as concerned as ever about engine overheat issues. It isn’t good for an engine to overheat, and if an engine remains too hot for long enough, you could face serious damage and repair costs. An overheated engine can also leave you stranded if you’re not careful.
Always keep an eye on your temperature gauge, even when the weather isn’t particularly hot. If the temperature gauge starts climbing too close to the “H,” pull over and stop the car if it is safe to do so. It is a good idea to stop an overheating engine and let it cool before it takes damage. Below are 3 of the most common reasons your car is overheating, and what you can do about it.
- Straining Your Engine
It doesn’t take 100-degree weather to overheat an engine, but hot weather definitely makes it easier for an engine to overheat. Heavy acceleration, uphill driving, air conditioning, and generally aggressive driving will put additional strains on your engine. If your temperature keeps going up, it is a good idea to take it slow and steady, and turn off your air conditioner as this will put an additional strain on the engine.
Strangely enough, your heater can be used to cool your engine as well. This is because heaters draw from engine heat, and they end up dispersing heat as they do so. Just make sure to roll your windows down!
- Low Coolant
If you are doing the best you can to relax your engine, and your engine is still overheating, you should check your coolant levels. This is one of the first things to look at, and it is a good idea to make sure your coolant levels are always high anyway.
It is never a good idea to remove the radiator pressure cap when your engine is still hot. Pressure builds up in the radiator, so when you remove that cap, all of that built up pressure is going to come rushing out. The coolant should be in a reservoir tank located near the radiator. Check the levels on that tank, and add coolant directly to the tank if needed.
If the coolant doesn’t work to bring the engine temperature down, you may have a leak. Check around your engine to make sure coolant isn’t leaking.
- Broken Fans and Belts
Another major issue to check on is your cooling fan. The cooling fan should be located near your radiator or on the radiator unit itself. Is the fan running? Is the fan running smoothly?
At high engine temperatures, and generally, when your air conditioning is on, you should see the cooling fan running. If it is not running, there could be an issue with an electrical component, such as the fan motor or the radiator switch.
It is also entirely possible that your fan belt is broken. With these issues, you can visually inspect your engine to make sure that your fans and belts aren’t malfunctioning.
These are the most basic issues to check for when your car is overheating. Most of the time it is engine strain, low coolant levels, or malfunctioning fans that drive up your engine temperature, and fortunately, these are easy fixes. If you’re looking for ways to gauge your engine’s health this summer, then seek out the help of automotive specialists, such as Enjuku Racing, which features many performance upgrades for all kinds of vehicles. Don’t let the heat leave you stranded by the side of the road because of an overheated engine. When you’re vigilant and responsible with your car’s health, you’ll be able to go that extra mile during all your summer travels.