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5 Typical Causes of Engine Overheating

Engine overheating could be the possible consequences of several problems including a blocked radiator, cracked cooling system, botched water pump, or a bad thermostat. Most car engines operate between 195°F and 220°F range. Any defect with these components can cause this temperature to rise beyond the normal level, leading to the overheating of your car. So in this blog, we will show you about common causes of engine overheating, engine overheating consequences, what happens when an engine overheating and how to deal with them. Let’s check it out!

Engine Overheating Consequences

Normally, a car engine will need servicing within its first five to seven years. Nevertheless, the engine in some cars can operate over 10 years without any troubles. However, it is important to maintain your car in order to safeguard your car engine. By doing this, you don’t have to worry about replacing or working on the car engine regularly. Although a car engine is produced with a long life span, it can not bear extremely high temperatures for long periods.

At such situations, the car engine can stop working, moreover the seals and the gaskets can be damaged seriously when exposing to high temperatures that they can not handle. In all cases, overheating can badly invade the car and even you have too much money, you can’t do anything to fix it. So this is why it is crucial to know the causes of engine overheating and how to deal with such a situation.

The Typical Causes Of Engine Overheating

It must be annoying when you are driving to catch an urgent meeting but suddenly steam starts spewing from under the hood, and you have to pull over somewhere. What is more terrifying is the possibility of an expensive fix because overheating could be extremely damaging for various parts in your car. Let’s find out some causes of the engine overheating:

1. A Leak In The Cooling System

The air that enters the system through the leak is one of the possible causes of engine overheating. The coolant drips through the puncture, creating space for air to get sucked in. The air takes the shape of a big bubble, known as an airlock, and occupies the top part of the system. The coolant can’t push through it to reach the engine, causing the overheating.

what happens when a car overheát
A coolant system lea causes the engine to heat up quickly.

2. Condensed Coolant

It’s an annoying problem in cold weather, especially in those places where temperature drop below the freezing point. If the coolant is not high-quality, it can get concentrated and cause a blockage. Such a condition will result in engine overheating and damage the radiator.

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3. Blockage To Coolant Circulation

It can bring about the same symptoms of the gelled coolant. Sometimes, a defected thermostat, mineral deposit, or a foreign object can block the liquid from flowing through the radiator to disperse heat.

4. Low Level Of Oil

Engine oil itself helps with the cooling process and prevents the buildup of excessive heat. In fact, the fuel removes 75% to 80% of the unused heat in the engine. It also keeps various parts properly lubricated, reducing friction and the subsequent overheating.

5. Broken-Down Water Pump

It’s one of the most frequent reasons for engine overheating. It is a component that actively takes part in maintaining coolant circulation. It can wear out or break over time, leading to the damage of the impeller that does not turn anymore.

causes of engine overheating
Broken water pump could be another reason of engine overheating.

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Signals To Look For When A Car Overheats

Here are three common signals for car overheating to check out:

1. Dashboard Caveats

The dashboard can alert you when your car overheats as the dashboard temperature indicator will start to increase. Most drivers often ignore the warning signals given by the dashboard, however they are very crucial.

The dashboard will not alert you only when the thermostat of the car is broken, in all other cases, it will. Addition to it, in recent car models, if the car begins to overheat, a malfunction light will turn on to notify its driver.

2. Steam Or Smoke

Whenever you notice steam or smoke billowing from under the hood of your car, the first thing you have to do is stopping your car right away. Steam or smoke appearing under the hood is not a good signal in any case. It can illustrate other things as well, such as leaking oil burning in the engine or harmless or an overheated car. In this case, you should get your car engine inspected by a skillful mechanic in order to prevent further damages.

3. Hot Air Coming Out Of The Air Conditioner

Even though hot air from the Air Conditioner of the car doesn’t demonstrate that the car is overheating instantly, it is likely that car overheating will happen soon. Putting coolant in your car is what you can do to tackle this problem.

How To Troubleshoot Car Overheating Causes

As you already know about the issues that trigger engine overheating, you will know where to look when a temperature malfunction arises. You should check:

  • The coolant system
  • Level of engine oil
  • Radiator
  • Thermostat
  • Water pump

Any trouble with these things often brings out the heat issue. The measures you can take are to:

  1. Flush the cooling system when it’s dirty or at the time recommended by the manufacturer
  2. Examine the cooling structure for leakage or any other fault
  3. Fill up the tank or change the oil regularly
  4. Inspect the radiator, thermostat, and water pump for any damage

Check out this video to know the causes of engine overheating and how to fix it:

If you don’t feel confident, let an experienced technician diagnose your vehicle. Even if it overheats for once, you should have it checked and fixed.
Hopefully the above information will be useful for you. Next time, don’t forget to read more car maintenance tips on Car From Japan to get more useful information from our professional experts.

18 Comments
  1. Koholo says

    a faulty gasket, crack in the blocker and crack on the cylinder head are the major ones that my mechanics report

  2. marwa r. kibwabwa says

    My car type is toyota ipsum it doesn’t cool infront of the sit, but it cools back sit or rear sit whats is the problen in front cooling system

  3. Mwale mabvuto says

    Thanks a lot for giving us very important information.I wanted to find out what is the best engine oil on Toyota vits 2006 model most of the cars provided by you guys,you don’t provide car manual books. Your assistance will be highly appliciated.

  4. greoffrey says

    failed cooling fan at the back of radiator also contributes over heating

  5. Charles says

    My truck is Toyota hiace 5L overheating when climbing up hill but only when loaded,it has no leakage on radiator. What’s the problem?

  6. Thabang says

    My car is toyota runx 140 , the engine is over heating but the gauge is in the middle of cold nd hot , water is boiling on radiator reservoir

    1. Essa Sema says

      I also have the similar problem with the same Toyota Runx

  7. Dsouza says

    I am driving a Renault Duster , 2013 model. Now it has started giving me problems like over heating. Mechanics suggested to change the Radiator, which was done. But still the problem is not resolved. After the temperature rise i pull the car and allow it to cool. and for some days it works fine and i notice the same problem. Please can you suggest what could be the problem.

  8. Sydney Roth says

    Lack of engine oil and an abnormal cooling system are solely responsible for the cooling system failure. The cooling system is an important part of the vehicle which keeps the temperature of the engine at an optimum level. So, the condition of different components of the cooling system should be inspected regularly to identify and repair mechanical issues associated with the concerned components. Apart from this, the quality and quantity of the engine oil also need to be regularly inspected.

  9. Kacie Goodman says

    Engine overheating generally occurs during dog days of summer. Lack of appropriate amount of coolant is solely responsible for engine overheating. We just need to top it off to the proper level. Other reasons are- thermostat might be stuck closed or open, engine might have a head gasket leaking coolant, a defective radiator cap etc. Without having sufficient amount of engine oil also cause the engine to overheat. Because engine oil helps to cool the engine components to some extent by absorbing heat generated due to friction.

    1. Elebiola says

      drive a toyota corolla 2012 and my car temperature rises up when I am stuck in traffic and using the air condition. Immediately I turn it the A/C the temperature goes down after a few seconds. I have changed my radiator, checked the thermostat and even replaced the gasket.

      Please I would appreciate any solution or advice…

      Kind regards

  10. Elebiola says

    I drive a toyota corolla 2012 and my car temperature rises up when I am stuck in traffic and using the air condition. Immediately I turn it the A/C the temperature goes down after a few seconds. I have changed my radiator, checked the thermostat and even replaced the gasket.

    Please I would appreciate any solution or advice…

    Kind regards

    1. Kelvin says

      Pls am in same shitright now , have you soved yours? If yes pls let know what to do to mine

  11. Shanika Rathnayake says

    Mainly the dog days of summer are responsible for engine overheating. Coolant helps to make the engine cool. Without appropriate amount of coolant vehicle’s engine generally overheats. This is probably caused due to a leak in the cooling system. In cold weather, when the temperature goes below the freezing point, Coolant becomes concentrated and cause a blockage. This often results in engine overheating. Water pump takes active part in coolant circulation. So, when it is broken down, then vehicle’s engine may get overheated.

  12. John Orengo says

    I own a 1991 Toyota camry wagon. had an overheating problem that was caused by a faulty Main relay in the under hood fuse box! The relay failed to turn on the cooling fans!

  13. Summer says

    2012 mira over heating and there is no leakage in the radiator.

  14. Frank says

    One time the fuse of the car blew and the fan couldn’t work any more so it’s also important to check the fuse if fans are not working. This can be done by connecting the fan to car battery using an extra wore

  15. Martin says

    My nissan b 15 is unable to climb, when force it the engine overheat what could be the problem

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