One of the many problems we can have with vehicles is overheating. If the engine isn’t constantly cooled as we drive, other major issues can occur. So why do vehicles overheat? There are six major contributors to this problem. Affordable Towing & Junk Cars will cover the major causes of vehicular overheating and why, if your car seems to have any one of these issues, it will be wise to have an emergency towing company ready to call.
How to Tell if a Car is Overheating
There are two indicators that your vehicle is overheating. The obvious one is that the temperature gauge needle rising into the ominous red zone. The second is that the “Check Engine” or “Temperature” light will come on. Both are found on the dashboard. There is also a third sign which is never good when it occurs. You will see steam or smoke coming out of your engine.
Troubleshooting Tips for Causes of Overheating Car
Leaking Coolant: The first and most common cause of engine overheating is that the coolant has sprung a leak somewhere. Most often it is from an old hose or the crack in the coolant tank. If your overheating problem is due to lack of coolant, you will first want to check the pressure cap. If the cap seems broken or is not sealed properly, this could be the cause for the loss of coolant as well. If your vehicle is overheating, you will want to add coolant right away then have a mechanic look for the source of the leak. In an emergency, you can use water instead of coolant to get it to the mechanic or home. However don’t keep driving your vehicle if it has overheated and you don’t have the help to cool it down. Instead, call a towing company to take you home or to your mechanic.
Late Timing: Another issue that can cause your vehicle to keep overheating could be due to late timing. Your ignition system could be malfunctioning as your spark plugs are firing the fuel and air mixture after the piston moves back down from the top of the stroking point. However this late timing issue isn’t singly the cause of overheating. However combined with additional problems, this can cause your vehicle to overheat to a critical point. This will require an electronic diagnostic test to detect.
Plugged Radiator: When a radiator becomes plugged the liquid or coolant can’t circulate throughout the engine’s system properly. This means even if your coolant if full and intact without leakage, your engine still isn’t receiving the proper amount of coolant to its engine. The clog leads to overheating.
Slipping Accessory Belt: The accessory belt is what drives the water pump in the engine. If you can access or reach it, you will want to give it a pull. If the belt has more than ½ inch give, your belt needs replacing. Often the belt becomes stretched and becomes too loose to drive the pump correctly. This also causes your vehicle to overheat.
Collapsing Bottom Radiator Hose: Over time, the bottom radiator hose can begin to collapse under the vacuum from the water pump. Improper circulation due to the collapse can also be one of the other several issues that cause overheating.
Low Oil: The oil doesn’t just cushion and lube the moving parts inside the engine. It additionally helps remove 75 to 80 percent of the “waste heat” in your engine. So overheating can also be as simple as low oil in your vehicle.
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Regardless of how minor the issues may be as to what’s causing the overheating in your vehicle, stop your car and turn off the A/C and your vehicle. Let it cool down. If you don’t have the means to check the reasons or the ability to cool it down on your own, do not continue to drive it. By driving your vehicle when it begins to overheat doesn’t just cause a break down on the side of the road, it can also cause severe damage to various parts if the engine. In turn this will destroy the entire engine and need very costly replacement. Contact Affordable Junk Cars & Towing and we will tow your overheating vehicle to your home, mechanic or other desired destination.