The Top 3 Causes of Engine Overheating

When your vehicle overheats, it’s usually preferable to have a professional inspect it. However, if you know what to look for, you can identify yourself for frequent causes. An overheated engine can be a sign of a variety of issues, some of which are more prevalent than others.

Our auto repair specialists discuss the top three reasons why your engine overheats, and what to do next if it occurs to you. This article was first published in 2016 and was updated in 2020 to reflect technological and industry developments.

Reason 1: Cooling System Leak

The freeze plug, reserve tank, and pressure cap are all components of your cooling system. This complex system forces coolant via tubes beneath your car’s hood, causing it to cool inefficiently. If your engine is overheating and you suspect a cooling system leak, inspect the following areas:

  • Underneath your car: If you’ve ever added coolant to your car, you’ll recognize the color; the liquid will be pink, orange, blue, red, green, or yellow. Any of these colors (depending on the type of coolant used in your vehicle) on the ground indicate that your coolant is leaking.
  • The hoses: Sometimes the leak is minor and you don’t see any liquid on the ground, or the liquid leaks onto other sections of the engine and you don’t see it on the ground. Checking the hoses for loose or flimsy components, on the other hand, is a good approach to look for potential leaks.

Note: If you check out underneath your car or the hoses and notice a problem, your overheating engine could be due to a cooling system leak.

Reason 2: Malfunctioning Radiator

Your radiator is an important part of your car’s cooling system since it transforms the heat drawn from the engine by the coolant into the air, allowing the coolant to continue cooling the engine. As a result, if your radiator fails, your engine will not cool correctly. Some typical causes of radiator failure include:

  • Leaks: A leak from your radiator, like a leak from the hoses in your cooling system, would pose a barrier that would impede your engine from cooling efficiently.
  • Bad thermostat: The thermostat evaluates the temperature and determines whether or not the engine needs to be cooled. As a result, if the thermostat is unable to properly judge, the engine is likely to overheat.
  • Broken fan: A fan is used to transfer heat from the coolant into the air by a radiator. If the fan fails or does not function properly, the coolant can remain heated, preventing it from pulling heat from the engine.

Fortunately, locating a radiator problem is frequently simple due to the part’s location near the front of your hood. However, the best approach to spot a problem is to have our professionals look it over for you—it will offer you peace of mind!

Reason 3: Loose or Broken Belt

The serpentine belt in your automobile performs a variety of duties, including ensuring the power steering, air pump, and other components function properly—one of the components the belt powers is the water pump, which is part of the cooling system.

We have both good and bad news about a malfunctioning belt. The good news is that there aren’t many ways for your belt to snap. The important consideration is time—your belt will ultimately loosen and stop working properly, or you will grow old and stop working efficiently. The bad news is that failing to service the belt can result in a variety of issues, including:

  • Lack of control from no power steering
  • No air conditioning
  • Overheating engine, of course
  • And in many cases, the battery might not charge

As a result, an issue with your belt is possible. If you’re having any of the aforementioned issues, the belt could be to blame. Visit your neighborhood Christian Brothers Automotive to find out for sure!

What to Do When Your Engine Overheats

Don’t be alarmed if you notice your engine overheating. You can do a few things to help it calm down. Turning off the air conditioner and cranking up the heat to maximum helps pull heat from the engine. However, one of the most important things you can do is pull over as quickly as possible. Allow the engine to cool before opening the hood and inspecting for symptoms of any of the top three causes of engine overheating.

About Israel Ashaolu 2090 Articles
Israel Ashaolu is a graduate of electrical and electronic from Niger state Polytechnic. Am an article writter and the owner of

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