Common Causes Of An Overheating Automotive Engine

Posted on: 31 May 2017

Having to deal with an overheating car is both frustrating and scary. Unfortunately, many luxury car owners fail to understand the range of factors that can lead to an overheating engine. If you would like to increase your knowledge of this common automotive complaint, read on. This article will discuss three frequent causes of an overheating engine.

Low Coolant

The purpose of coolant is fairly straightforward: keeping your engine cool. It therefore doesn't take an experienced mechanic to realize that too little coolant in your car means it will be much more likely to overheat. To determine whether this is the issue behind your overheating, you'll need to check the level of coolant in your car.

This procedure is fairly simple. Begin by turning off your car and allowing it to cool down for several hours. Now open up the hood and locate the coolant tank, which is commonly located next to the radiator. You can generally recognize the coolant tank by means of its clear or translucent sides. Simply lift off the lid and check whether the coolant level meets the minimum threshold. If not, add more coolant as necessary.

Clogged Radiator

If you have ruled out low coolant as the source of your overheating engine, the next most likely explanation is a radiator that has become clogged. This is generally the result of old, degraded coolant. Such coolant contains an unacceptably large proportion of contaminants--contaminants that will tend to accumulate inside of the radiator.

When checking your coolant level, be sure to take note of the color of the fluid. Fresh coolant should be a rich bright red. If your coolant appears brown or black, it has certainly become too old. Having the system flushed by a professional will be necessary in order to correct the overheating problem.

Faulty Thermostat

The circulation of coolant through your car must be carefully regulated in response to the engine's temperature. As temperatures rise, more coolant must be allowed to flow into the system, thus ensuring that the desired degree of cooling is accomplished. The cooling system's thermostat is responsible for both monitoring the temperature, and for physically controlling the gate that allows coolant to pass into the system.

Even if it continues to register temperature correctly, a faulty thermostat may no longer allow the correct proportion of coolant to flow into the engine. This problem is often concealed during in-town driving, when the temperature beneath your hood remains fairly minimal. Yet during periods of highway travel, overheating as the result of a faulty thermostat is much more likely to rear its head. 

Contact a luxury car repair service if you require further assistance.