What Causes a Car To Overheat?

A car overheats when the engine's temperature becomes too high for it to properly function. There are many reasons why this may happen, and some causes may be more likely to happen depending on the make and model of the car in question. Nonetheless, this is a problem capable of pulling any driver to the side of the road worried, frustrated, and inconvenienced.

By understanding the common causes of this not uncommon problem, however, drivers are better able to prevent their own vehicles from facing these issues.

Common Causes of Overheating:
  • Not enough coolant. Coolant, or antifreeze, is necessary for the functioning of a car's coolant system. With too little, the temperature inevitably rises until overheating occurs.
  • Coolant is contaminated. If the fluid in the system has too much dirt, debris, and/or buildup, it will be unable to adequately prevent the engine's temperature from rising.
  • Broken water pump. The water pump is another integral part of a car's coolant system. If the water pump is broken, the coolant is unable to circulate throughout the car's engine.
  • Radiator is faulty or broken. A car's radiator and fans further assist in maintaining optimal engine temperatures. If the radiator or its fans aren't able to perform their functions as necessary, overheating may occur.
  • Thermostat is faulty or broken. This prevents the coolant system from operating in tune with the temperature of the engine, leading to issues in regulation.
  • Not enough oil or oil needs to be changed. A car's oil serves as a lubricant for various moving parts. By allowing these parts to move against each other more easily and effortlessly, fiction is reduced; and by reducing friction, the heat that results from friction is also reduced. When this is unable to happen, the temperature of the engine rises.
  • Issues with belts and hoses. Belts and hoses are another integral part of the coolant system. Leaks and blocks reduce functionality, as does general wear and tear.

If you've been dealing with your car's engine overheating, whether once or repeatedly, be sure to have a professional take a look under the hood to best understand the cause of the issue. Your safety is paramount. Bring your vehicle into Euro Car Tech in Arlington, TX, today!