5 most common reasons for engine overheating and the signs to look out for


Posted by: Jane Osuagwu

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Knowing the causes and signs of engine overheating can save you from expensive repair bills!

Your engine overheating can be as a result of some problems which has to do with a bad thermostat, blocked radiator, botched water pump or a cracked cooling system. A lot of car engines operational range is from 195° F to 220° F. If any of these mentioned parts develops a fault, it will cause the temperature to skyrocket above the normal level. And your car will start overheating. As Naijauto.com is much concerned about the performance of your car engine, we’ll point out to you the reasons for your engine overheating and also, the signs that show up when it overheats.

5 Common reasons for engine overheating 

As annoying as an overheating engine can be, especially when you have an appointment to meet, knowing ít causes can save you from expensive damage bills. With that been said, let’s check out the reasons below.

1. Low oil level

The engine oil assists in the cooling process and also stops excessive heat from building up. It has been confirmed that 75% to 80% of heat not used in the engine is removed by the fuel. The oil also ensures the proper lubrication of several parts and this reduces heat and friction. Car drivers shouldn't run out of oil while driving as it's risky to your engine. As an essential part of routine maintenance, you should know when and how to change the engine oil.

2. Leaky cooling system 

When there is a leak in the cooling system, air comes in through the leaky area and this becomes a reason for engine overheating. The leaky area creates space for the air to come in as the coolant drips through there. The air that comes in is usually shaped like a big bubble which is called an airlock. It fills up the upper part of the cooling system. As a result, the coolant will be unable to push through the airlock to get to the engine, causing the engine to overheat.

3. Condensed coolant 

It's most evident during cold weather and the locations where the temperature reduces below the freezing point. A substandard coolant can get concentrated, causing a blockage. And this damages the radiator, causing the engine to overheat.

4. Blockage to the coolant circulation 

A blockage to coolant circulation results in a gelled coolant. Sometimes, mineral deposit, defected thermostat or even a foreign particle can stop the liquid from passing so as to distribute heat.

5. Worn-out water pump

This happens to be one of the most regular causes of engine overheating. The water pump sees to the regular maintenance of coolant circulation. And it can wear or break from prolonged use, which will stop the impeller from turning.

Signs of an engine overheating

Be on the lookout for these common signs of an overheating engine

1. Dashboard warning light

When the engine is overheating, it will reflect on the temperature sign on the dashboard. The warning light shows the temperature sign going up. Don’t ignore any dashboard warning light, because they come on when something is wrong with your car which needs immediate attention.

The dashboard warning lights

2. Steam or smoke

Whenever you are driving and notice smoke or steam coming out under your car hood, stop your car immediately. This isn't a good sign. The smoke can imply other things like a leaky and burning oil or an overheating engine. Get a mechanic to help you inspect your engine to stop further damage.

3. Air conditioner blowing hot air

Well, this doesn't necessarily mean that an AC blowing hot air is a sign of an overheating engine. However, it will happen soon. A coolant is what you need to fix the problem.

Measures to take for an engine overheating 

We’ve already discussed the reasons for engine overheating. Now, here are the car parts that should be checked when the overheating starts.

  • Engine oil level 
  • Coolant system 
  • Radiator 
  • Water pump
  • Thermostat

Do these when the engine starts overheating

  1. When the cooling system becomes dirty, flush it or as advised by your manufacturer.
  2. Inspect the cooling system to identify the leak or any fault that may arise there.
  3. Fill the oil tank or you change the oil frequently.
  4. Examine the thermostat, water pump, and radiator for any damage.

Don't wait for the engine to overheat twice or thrice before you inspect it for fixing. An overheating engine can cause expensive damage when you don't get it fixed.

Video: How to Fix an Overheating Car Engine

>>> You  might want to check out: Removing thermostat valve to stop overheating: You are killing the engine

Jane Osuagwu

Jane Osuagwu

Car prices

Jane Osuagwu is an automotive writer at Naijauto.com. She's a car enthusiast who loves creating educative and informative topics on cars, ranging from maintenance tips to updates on the latest trend in the auto industry in concise and friendly writing. 

Jane is also a blogger and loves reading, inspiring people and getting involved in personal development projects.

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