Why does a car overheat?
Before we delve into preventing the problem, it’s helpful to look at what can cause a car to overheat in the first place. Here are some of the most common culprits:
- Cooling system malfunction: Just like your body has ways to regulate its internal temperature, a vehicle’s cooling system provides the same function. When there’s a problem, such as a coolant leak or blockage, the engine can easily get overheated.
- Faulty thermostat: The amount of coolant that flows through your vehicle’s engine is determined by the thermostat. If it’s not functioning properly and erroneously reads the car’s temperature, your vehicle may overheat due to improper coolant flow.
- Not enough oil: You’re probably already aware of the need for regular oil changes to ensure that the oil flowing through your vehicle’s parts is clean and free of debris. But, the quantity of oil is just as important as its Oil circulating through the engine lubricates its parts AND keeps it cool. If there’s not enough, your car may overheat.
- Malfunctioning radiator cooling fan: During the summer, you can appreciate the comfort that comes with just a little air flow from a fan. Your car needs the same thing, except it comes from a cooling fan inside the radiator. What happens if that stops working or doesn’t work well? You guessed it … your car can overheat!
3 ways to prevent your car from overheating
When your vehicle overheats, it can cause damage to internal parts, some of which can be expensive to repair. Learn how to prevent overheating in the first place and you can save yourself a headache and some serious cash. Here are some preventative maintenance measures you can take to keep your vehicle cool and comfortable:
- Replace your car battery: A corroded car battery, or one that’s just old and past its usable life, can be short on power and make your engine have to work harder. More work means more heat created and the chance for overheating. We recommend battery replacement approximately every three years.
- Schedule cooling system service: It’s critical to keep your vehicle’s coolant at the right level and the entire system in proper working order. For optimal vehicle performance and to prevent overheating, we recommend cooling system service every 12 months for most cars.
- Get a radiator flush: Just like motor oil, coolant can get dirty over time, even if it’s at the right level. A radiator flush includes flushing out the old coolant and replacing it with new. Manufacturer recommendations vary by vehicle but this service should generally be done every 40,000 miles.
Regardless of what else you have planned this summer, keeping your car cool and preventing it from overheating should be on your list! After all, who wants to get stuck out on the road in the hot summer sun with an overheated vehicle? Give us a call today or schedule an appointment online for your car’s summer checkup!