Why Is My Car Overheating?


Troubleshooting, Diagnostic, Repairs

A common question we hear at the Sam Leman Automotive Group service center is, “Why is my car overheating?” There are several possible reasons a car would overheat, whether it’s due to a leak in the cooling system or an issue with the radiator. Each vehicle has a temperature that is considered “normal.” For most, it is between 195 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you notice that the reading on the temperature gauge is higher than it should be, do not drive the car until a professional has looked at it. Driving an overheated car is dangerous and can lead to expensive damage as well.

Find out why your car is running hot and what to do when your car overheats below. You can contact us anytime with questions.

Why Is My Car Running Hot?

What does it mean when your car overheats? It is an important sign of more serious underlying issues. Here are the most common engine overheating causes:

  • There’s a leak in the cooling system – In most cases, a leak in the cooling system is what causes your car to overheat. The radiator, hoses, water pump, head gasket, and thermostat housing are all cooling system components and can be susceptible to leaks.
  • There’s a problem with your coolant – The engine could also overheat if the wrong coolant was put in your car or you have an improper coolant-to-water ratio (50/50 is proper).
  • There’s a blockage in the coolant hose – A blockage in the coolant hose is another possible culprit. There are many ways that dirt and debris can become trapped in the cooling system. When this happens, blockages in the coolant hose can begin to occur.
  • There’s an issue with the radiator – Another one of the most common engine overheating causes is a result of issues with the radiator. Overheating can occur whether it is due to a blockage, a leak, or problems with the radiator fan.
  • Your car’s water pump is broken – The water pump sends engine coolant throughout the cooling system. If the pump shaft has shifted or there is a leak, you may notice that your car starts overheating.

What to Do When a Car Overheats

What happens if your car overheats while you are already on the road? If the air conditioning is on, shut it off and instead run your heat at full blast. While this may sound counterintuitive, this step is actually beneficial because it helps pull heat away from the engine. Pull over safely when possible. Do not try to open the hood by hand for at least 30 minutes. To ensure your safety, having the vehicle towed to a service center and inspected by a professional is always best.

Rely on the Automotive Experts at Sam Leman Automotive Group

If your car overheats, don’t panic. Have your vehicle looked at by the highly skilled technicians at Sam Leman Automotive Group. They will work hard to identify the underlying problem and get you back on the road safely as soon as possible. Contact us today if you have any questions about automotive maintenance.

Sam Leman Automotive Group 40.4607752, -88.9687249.