The 5 Most Common Causes Of Engine Overheating?

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Engine overheating can be caused by a number of factors, including a faulty radiator, a fault in the cooling system, an incorrectly installed water pump or a faulty thermostat.

Most engines develop a temperature between 90 degrees Celsius and 105 degrees. Any malfunction in the components described above can cause the temperature to rise above the normal level, leading to overheating and stalling of the car engine.

In this article, we will present the most common causes that can lead to engine overheating, as well as the consequences of this situation and ways to solve the problem.

The most common causes of engine overheating

It's certainly not pleasant when you have to arrive somewhere in an emergency to notice that steam starts coming out from under the bonnet and you have to pull over.

What is even more unpleasant is the fact that this situation has arisen and you will certainly need to make expensive repairs, since overheating has particularly damaging effects on the various parts of your vehicle.

The following are the most common causes of engine overheating.

A fault in the cooling system

Air entering the cooling system through a crack is one of the possible causes of engine overheating. Coolant will leak around this area, creating space for air to be sucked in.

This air entering the cooling system will occupy the upper portion. The coolant will not be able to pass through it to reach the engine, causing overheating. A crack in the cooling system will cause the engine to overheat, and you may need to go to the vehicle repair centre to fix that and avoid overheating issues.

Coolant circulation blockage

This situation will cause symptoms similar to those described above. It is sometimes possible that a malfunctioning thermostat, the formation of mineral deposits or the presence of a foreign object can block the smooth flow of coolant in the radiator which is intended to disperse heat.

Low oil level

Engine oil plays an important role in the cooling process and prevents too much heat build-up. Approximately 75% to 80% of the heat developed is dissipated in the engine.

Engine oil also has the role of properly lubricating various engine parts, reducing friction and therefore overheating.

What are the signs that may indicate engine overheating?

Dashboard warnings

Dashboard warning signals can indicate when your engine is overheating by lighting up the temperature gauge. Most drivers choose to ignore these signals, even though the repercussions can be quite serious. 

The onboard warning lights will not warn you if the thermostat has failed, but will warn you in any other situation. In newer car models, when the engine starts to overheat, a warning light will come on to indicate a problem with the car's operation.

Steam or smoke

When you notice steam or smoke coming out from under the bonnet, the first thing to do is to stop the car. The appearance of steam or smoke from under the bonnet is not a good sign.

It may occur if you have an oil leak or it may indicate engine overheating. In this case you should visit a car service to detect a possible problem and have it rectified as soon as possible.

Hot air coming from the air conditioning system

Even if the emission of hot air from this level means that the engine is already warmed up, it is most likely that overheating of the engine will occur.

What you can do in this case is to top up the antifreeze level to prevent this problem.

How can you avoid engine overheating?

To avoid such situations, it is a good idea to check the vehicle's cooling system, the oil level, the condition of the radiator, the thermostat and the water pump. Any problem at this level will cause overheating. 

In case of engine overheating it is advisable to proceed as follows:

  • Drain the cooling system at the time recommended by the manufacturer;
  • Check for any signs of damage or faults;
  • Top up the oil level and change it at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer;
  • Check the technical condition of the radiator, thermostat and water pump and any signs of damage.

Overheating can be a major problem with serious repercussions for your car. For this reason, it is advisable to check the technical condition of the car even if the problem has only occurred once.