The operating temperature of many modern cars falls within the temperature range of 195° F to 250° F. When temperature exceeds the normal range, the engine is said to be overheated. And, overheating is likely to damage the engine.
Overheating can be because of multiple causes. We discuss some of the causes here briefly.
1. Low or no coolant
The cooling system in modern cars uses liquid coolants. Water or a solution of water-coolant fluid is used as a coolant. If there is no sufficient amount of coolant or no coolant at all, the radiator fails to get rid of the excess heat. Even the wrong concentration of coolant with water causes engine to overheat.
2. Leaks in cooling system
Cooling system of a car avoids overheating of the engine. Over time, various parts of the cooling system may wear and tear, which might lead to leakage of the coolant. The leakage may happen in any part of the cooling system like hoses, the radiator, water pump, head gasket, freeze plug, the oil cooler in automatic transmission and the heater core. Such leakage may lead to insufficient circulation of the coolant and leads to accumulation of heat and overheating of engine.
3. Bad thermostat
The thermostat controls the temperature of the engine when operating. It controls the flow of coolant from the engine to the radiator. When the thermostat works, the coolant moves from the engine to the radiator. If thermostat gets stuck or if it does not work properly, the coolant will not pass through the radiator and this causes engine to overheat. This process goes on until the operating temperature reaches normal operating temperature.
4. Blockage in passageways of coolant
The coolant has to pass through multiple hoses and connecting piles while circulating across the system to create the necessary cooling effect. However, dirt, rust and sediment from different sources across the system can impair the coolant’s flow. By this, the cooling capacity of the system declines resulting in engine overheating.
5. Radiator problems
Radiator is primarily used to reduce the temperature of coolant. Issues in radiator such as inoperative fan, worn out hoses and/or clogging causes overheating.
The radiator may not work optimally if it loses the coolant because of leaks. Such leaks may happen near the top lip at the neck of the radiator. The caps near the top lip should be fixed properly to prevent leakage and to create vacuum. If the system fails to hold pressure, it will result in overheating of the engine.
In addition, the radiator of your car may become dirty and clogged up because of the accumulation of solid deposits coming from the coolant. This leads to less cooling and heat accumulation.
6. Worn hoses or belts
The hose associated with the cooling system of your car may develop cracks and holes over time. This leads to leakages and impairs the flow of coolant. This can lead to overheating.
Likewise, the belt associated with the water pump functioning optimally leads to optimal flow of the coolant through the cooling system. If the belt slackens, it fails to convey the correct amount of the coolant and it results in engine overheating.
7. Faulty water pumps
Water pump is very crucial for cooling system of car. It generates pressure and propels the coolant across the cooling system. The water pump’s impeller made of steel or aluminum may get corroded because of the suboptimal pH level in the system.
Further, if the shaft of the pump is defective, it can result in lower amount of coolant flow and it results in engine overheating.