Maybe at some point, you’ve found yourself sitting on the side of the road waiting for your vehicle to cool down because your temperature gauge was indicating your car was overheating or your high-temperature warning light popped on. If you’ve been there (or are there right now), great job for getting things shut down so they can cool down. Continuing to drive with your car overheating is the quickest way do permanent engine damage and run up a big repair bill. While you’re waiting for your vehicle to cool down, there are some things you can check to see if you can figure out why your car might be overheating. Be sure to check out my other blogs to help you pinpoint any other car issues you’re having!

Why Is My Car Overheating?

  • Low Coolant Level
  • Stuck Thermostat
  • Broken Water Pump
  • Clogged Cooling Passage
  • Blown Head Gasket

Low Coolant Level

The most common cause of cars overheating is a low coolant level. Getting your oil changed at a reputable mechanic that will check your coolant level at every oil change is the best way to make sure your coolant stays topped off. Depending on the design of your cooling system, it’s possible for some coolant to evaporate under normal driving. So, it’s possible to have a low coolant level without any leaks at all. If you check your coolant level regularly and notice and sudden low level, it probably indicates you’ve got a leak.  Look for wet spots or build up around hoses and gaskets in your cooling system, or take your car to a mechanic for a cooling system pressure test to find your leak. If you find a leak in your block or radiator, use BlueDevil Radiator and Block Sealer to stop the leak and keep your cooling system full and cool.

Stuck Thermostat

The thermostat in your car regulates the temperature of the coolant inside your engine by allowing some hot coolant to flow through your radiator to get cooled down. If the thermostat is stuck closed, it can allow your engine to overheat. The best way to test your thermostat is to remove it and put it in a pot of hot water and check the water temperature at which the thermostat opens. If it opens above the specified temperature, it’s time to replace the thermostat to stop your car overheating.

Broken Water Pump

The water pump moves coolant around your cooling system so it can cool the engine then be cooled itself in the radiator. If the water pump isn’t moving the water fast enough or smoothly through your cooling jacket, it can allow the temperature to rise in your engine. To check for water pump problems, you can try measuring the temperature drop across your heater core and radiator.  Extremely large temperature drops indicate slow moving coolant and a problem with your water pump.

Clogged Cooling Passage

Similar to having a broken water pump, clogged cooling system passages can cause a car to overheat by reducing coolant flow and heat transfer. If your coolant is dirty or hasn’t been changed recently, you may consider performing a coolant flush to help increase your cooling system’s efficiency.

Blown Head Gasket

A blown head gasket will let a lot of heat into the cooling system while also reducing the flow and causing other problems that lead to overheating. Blown head gaskets are difficult to diagnose and complicated to repair, so we would recommend checking out our article talking about signs of a blown head gasket to see if that might be your problem.

For more information about how to diagnose and repair overheating issues in your car, join me, Clark, in the garage!

You can find BlueDevil Radiator and Block Sealer at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
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car_overheating.jpg – By AndreyPopov – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link