Understanding Why Vehicles Overheat

Vehicles Overheat

The coolant system of a vehicle is crucial if you want your vehicle to operate properly without overheating. There are quite a few moving parts involved in the system that require maintenance and fluid checks. Regardless, of the amount of maintenance that you do, it is possible for some of these parts to malfunction and fail over time, which will result in an overheated vehicle. However, in most cases, the cause or causes of an overheating vehicle is fairly easy to uncover. Below, you will find a detailed list of the components that are involved in the coolant system of a vehicle, what their job is, and what happens when the malfunction.

Just keep in mind that an overheating engine can result in expensive repairs to major components of the engine, so even the most experience home mechanic will get in touch with professional as soon as their vehicle starts showing sign of overheating.

Exploring The Top Reasons That A Vehicle Overheats

  • Blocked or stuck thermostat- the thermostat is designed to open up when the engine reaches a certain degree. Once the thermostat opens, anti-freeze will flow through the engine to cool it. If the thermostat is blocked or stuck, it will not open properly, which will prevent the anti-freeze from reaching the engine.
  • Coolant (Anti-Freeze) system leaks- one of the most common causes of an overheating vehicle is a coolant system leak. If there isn’t any anti-freeze in the vehicle the engine will not receive the proper cooling when it gets hot, which will cause it to overheat. In most cases, this is a result of a leaking radiator, or cracked hoses that run from the radiator to the engine.
  • Water pump not operating properly- the water pump is without a doubt the most important component of the coolant system, as it is responsible for circulating the anti-freeze through the engine when it reaches the appropriate temperature. If the water pump is not doing its job, you will experience an overheated vehicle right away.
  • Clogged radiator- the radiator is the aluminum or metal coil looking device that sits in the front of the vehicle, and usually has a cap attached to it. Opening this cap when the vehicle is hot will cause radiator fluid to gush out everywhere at high pressures. The radiator can attract tons of debris, dirt, and dust over time, which will result in a clog. To prevent this, it is best to change the anti-freeze, and flush out the radiator from time to time.
  • Cooling fan inoperable- the fan is attached to the front of the radiator, and proper operation is crucial in order to have a fully functioning coolant system. The fan is designed to come on at a certain temperature to cool down the radiator, and if this doesn’t happen the vehicle is going to overheat. In most cases this can be the result of a malfunctioning fan clutch, which means that fan will need to be replace immediately.

The best and only way to prevent these situations from occurring is to make sure you are taking your vehicle to a certified mechanic for regular tune-up and maintenance procedures. Our tow truck drivers always carry contact information of trusted and certified local mechanics that can service your vehicle, while offering the most competitive rates in Town. Call our shop and ask about the mechanics that we recommend to make sure that you are never left stranded aside the road due to an overheating vehicle.