Summers in North Texas can soar to over 100 degrees and hot weather is the number one cause for a car overheating that can result in you needing a tow. However, that’s not the only reason a vehicle may get too hot. Everything from a stuck thermostat to a malfunctioning fan can affect the temperature of your car’s engine.
An engine’s normal temperature should be anywhere between 195 to 220 degrees. Anything above that can cause serious problems which can lead to many needed repairs.
Some reasons for a vehicle to get too hot include:
A car’s thermostat regulates when coolant is needed in the car’s engine. When a thermostat is stuck, it will prevent coolant from reaching the engine. What causes it to get stuck? An older car, with an older thermostat, will eventually fail. Also, not maintaining your vehicle can result in a build up of dirt and debris and could force your thermostat to remain closed.
Cooling System Leak
Often, the source of a cooling system leak is in the radiator or hoses. Just like the stuck thermostat, a leaking in the cooling system will prevent coolant from reaching the engine.
Malfunctioning Water Pump
The water pump is the most important part of a car’s cooling system. It allows circulation of coolant throughout the engine. A non-functioning water pump will cause a car to overheat in minutes.
A radiator can attract all kinds of debris which, if left, will cause the radiator to get clogged up. Change the radiator fluid regularly to avoid this from happening.
If a car’s fan does not start functioning as soon as the vehicle reaches a certain temperature, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible.
If your car is overheating, there are some tips for cooling it down and lessening the damage to the engine.
- Turn OFF the air conditioner and open the windows
- Turn ON the heater and blower
- It seems counter-intuitive, but this will transfer heat from the engine to the interior part of the vehicle.
- If stuck in traffic, shift the gear into Neutral or Park and rev up the engine
- This will make the water pump and the fan speed up drawing more liquid and air through the radiator.
Keep these tips in mind and regular maintenance, throughout the year, can ensure your car will not overheat in the hottest summer months.