Many people find themselves stuck on the roadside due to their vehicle overheating. There are many reasons as to why a vehicle will overheat. There are a few warning signs that a vehicle should be checked before the vehicle’s owner is stuck away from home with an overheated vehicle that will not start or get them home. In the event a vehicle does overheat it is best not to attempt to drive the vehicle until it has cooled down. You may also need to call a towing service. However today Citywide Towing will share the different causes why a vehicle will begin to overheat.
How to Tell if a Car is Overheating
When a vehicle begins to overheat there are typically two indicators. The first is the temperature gauge needle will rise into the red zone. A somewhat confusing sign is when the “check engine” light will also turn on. Most don’t often link the “check engine” light to overheating problems, when in fact, it can. Let us also not forget the appearance of smoke or steam rising from underneath the hood. This is often due to overheating of the engine.
Engine Overheating Troubleshooting
Leaking Coolant – Coolant lines can crack. When this happens the coolant will leak out. The coolant is essential in keeping your vehicle cool. Its lack is one of the major and most common reasons as to why a vehicle will overheat. When a vehicle begins to overheat make sure to check the coolant to see how much, if any, is left. If your vehicle is out of coolant you can in an emergency situation use water to help get you home or your vehicle to a mechanic.
Late Timing – When a vehicles ignition system has a problem or malfunction it can cause overheating. When the spark plug fires the pistons rise up then back down to the stroking point by adding fuel and a mixture of air. Sometimes those pistons don’t fire correctly or with the correct timing. When this occurs it can cause the vehicle to overheat. If it is the ignition or timing issue that is causing your vehicle to overheat you will need an electronic diagnostic.
Plugged Radiator – Sometimes the radiator can get plugged where the coolant can’t pass through the rest of the engines systems properly. If you happen to check your vehicles coolant levels and they appear to be fine yet you still experience overheating problems, the next step is to see if the radiator is plugged up.
Slipping Accessory Belt – The accessory belt is meant to drive the water pump which in turn helps cool the engine. Often the belt can become lose or stretched out. This can cause the pump to run poorly or not at all. If you can reach through and give the belt a tug to see how much slack it has, this will tell you if it is the accessory belt that’s your overheating problem. If there is more than a ½ inch give, the belt needs to be replaced or tightened.
Collapsing Bottom Radiator Hose – Sometimes the hose to the radiator will begin to collapse from the vacuum suction of the water pump. When the hose collapses it causes the improper circulation of the coolant from getting into the radiator.
Low Oil – Although the oil does help lubricate the engine’s moving parts, it also helps to remove up to 75% to 80% of the “wasted heat.” When a vehicle is overheating, check the oil along with the coolant level and accessory belt.
Towing & Roadside Assistance in Duncanville, Grand Prairie, Arlington, Irving, Mesquite & Greater Dallas, Texas
When a vehicle begins to overheat it is best to have a professional mechanic inspect and determine the vehicle’s overheating problem. However these are the top reasons as to what causes vehicles to overheat. When you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with an overheated vehicle, call Citywide Towing. We can provide roadside assistance and perhaps help cool your vehicle down. If nothing else, we would be happy to tow it to your preferred destination.