Getting stuck on the road with overheating car complaint is really frustrating and annoying. You can do your self a big favor if you understand basic stuff like how vehicle system works. Here I am going to discuss few possible causes and troubleshooting tips. First of all, I am going to explain in brief how heat exchanging system works and what are different components. As we know motor produce heat while running. Heat exchanging system helps to keep engine heat around safe level. Coolant/water is used as a heat carrier in heat exchanging system. It is also known as water/antifreeze.
Michel Filion “For Sale” June 15, 2009 Via Flickr.
There is the number of events that can cause this problem. Below I am going to discuss few main causes and some tips on how to fix this problem.
1. Check level and look for leaks: First of all take a look at antifreeze level. If reservoir level is low or totally empty that simply means that the system is bleeding somewhere either externally or there is inner component damage. Check hoses, around thermostat and radiator for external leaks. Internal leaks mean water is leaking internally inside the motor. Internal leaking is hard to find and can cause major motor destruction. It can destroy piston rings and head gasket. External leakage is easy to locate and repair. Replace bad hoses and tight loose clamps to fix the external leak.
2. Inspect thermostat condition: The thermostat can get stuck either fully open or fully closed. If it is stuck open that means the engine will always run a below-recommended temp or if it is stuck closed engine will run hotter than operating temperature. motor normal running temp is usually between 180-200 degree Fahrenheit.
3. Faulty rad (radiator): Well, Coolant is half and half cooling chemical and normal water. As we know water is the major cause of rust. Yes, Water can also leads to corrosion inside the heat exchanging system. After some time rust can plug the rad and other hoses. In order to check RAD, check both upper and lower hose when the motor is running if one side is hot and other side is cold that means rad (radiator) is the cause and it is plugged. Be careful Do not stick your hand between the running fan. It can cause major injury.
4. Test the rad fan: Check if the rad fan is working. You can check fan by giving straight power to RAD fan from the battery. Most of the cars have two fans. Make sure to check both fans. Use flexible wires to connect positive and negative from battery to fan. After connecting wires, if there is no response it means faulty fans. Even one bad fan can leads to problems. Check with your mechanic for fan replacement.
5. Check pressure cap: Rad (radiator) pressure cap looks like small and minor component in the system but it plays a major role. The cap helps to sustain certain pressure inside the system. As we know liquid under pressure has low freezing and high boiling point. Basic, physics right? Minor leakage inside the system can cause the pressure to drop and leads to major problems. Check rad caps rubber seal and replace if there is any cut or damage. Caution: Always Safety first guys. Never take off Rad cap when the motor is running and under pressure.
6. Keep vehicle up-to date: Service of vehicle on regularly basic is really critical. Most people do not service their vehicle on time. Always service your car on time and do not forget to change coolant. Most modern cars use long life usually red in color antifreeze that can last upto 100 k km. Always recycle old coolant. Do not dump in the drain because it is not environment-friendly.
Why car overheats when heat is on?
When heater switch within the cab is on, antifreeze flows through the heater core which is located beneath the dash board to warm up the cab air. Core perform other functions as well like cooling antifreeze for motor operations. System level is going to fall really low if there is any kind of leak inside the core. Ever minor leak can cause serious trouble because as air enters the system operating pressure drops as well as boiling point decease. In case there is obstruction within the core it will block the flow and it won’t be able to warm the cab air. Exchanging the core is the best thing to do if you want get ride of this problem and cores are not that pricey.
Why car overheats when the Air Conditioner is on?
A/C puts an extra mechanical load on the engine because it makes alternator to work harder due to additional load from the A/C compressor. When the AC is off, there’s plenty of cool air passing through the radiator fins. The AC condenser is located in front of the motor radiator that is why radiator gets a bit hot air when the AC is turned on. The system is designed in that way but when the radiator gets old and less productive, the additional heat from the AC condenser is sufficient to overheat the motor.
Transmission fluid in the coolant?
The transmission cooler is usually located inside the radiator. The transmission cooler is the only location where coolant and transmission fluid could possibly be mixing together. There is possibility of coolant inside the transmission as well because the pressure in the radiator is usually higher than the pressure in the transmission coolant. Always repair the cause as soon as possible because it can damage the transmission and modern transmissions are really expensive.
A lot of Bubbles in the overflow tank.
If you have recently flushed and refilled the system than there is the possibility of air pockets to get stuck in the system. There is a proper procedure to refill the the system when its empty. As the vehicle heats up, air pockets expand and are pushed up to the reservoir. In order to avoid that problem, always refill radiator from the bottom and use the vacuum to draw the air out.
In case there are no external leaks, that means air is leaking inside the cooling system is from the chamber. when there is crack in the head gasket it permits air to get into the antifreeze. Even a minor leak in the head gasket can allow exhaust gasses from the cylinders into the system. air escape through the radiator pressure cap and create bubbles. once motor cools down faulty head gasket restrict the back pressure for coolant to go back to the radiator and as the motor heats up the coolant go to the overflow tank instant of the radiator.
What happens when water drains into the engine?
It can cause some serious damage to the motor. Due to internal leak oil level will go up. Coolant react with oil and turn it into sludge ( milky color). There are chemical additives within the oil to enhance viscosity and to control acid level to prevent bearings. Contaminated oil will not lubricate the bearings effectively and pressure will drop really low. If coolant drains above the pistons it can lead to engine hydro-lock. Motor hydro-lock is the condition of pistons seize against bore due to coolant spills into the chamber. As we know water is in-compressible, if ignition chamber is full with water it will not rotate and can cause damage to the connecting rods. Also oil pickup tube will draw the contaminated oil and send to the engine oil gallery. As the oil heats up the oil/coolant mixture undergoes a chemical reaction and attack the internal engine parts.
*How to repair a hydro-locked engine?
If the engine is not turning at all. First of all remove the spark plugs/coils and use vacuum with narrow tube to take out the coolant by turning the motor either by hand or use starter motor. Then take off the oil pan drain plug and drain the contaminated oil from the pan, spray fresh engine oil into the bore and turn the motor a few turns. Put brand new oil and install spark plugs back (make sure plugs are dry). Take your car to the certified mechanic for the head job because it is essential to fix the cause.
How does overheating can damage the car?
Most car manufacturers companies use metals like aluminum to make pistons. Aluminum is very sensitive to heat and heats up faster than motor block because the block is usually made up of cast iron. When motor overheats, pistons expand quicker than the block and they can bind against the liner bore.
Seized pistons can break the connecting rods and damage the crankshaft.at very high temperature, additives inside the oil break down rapidly which results in thinner oil and lower lubrication. Thinner oil can damage crankshaft main bearings, cam bearings, and other engine components.
How to temporarily fix a blown or cracked head gasket?
Fairly speaking I think there is no magical trick to fix cracked head gasket but still, In an emergency, You can take a chance with special gasket sealer. For a quick and short-term fix, you can try products like bar’s leaks chemical sealants. Always keep in mind that it’s only a short-term fix and could cause major problems like the obstruction in a coolant passage and blocked radiator tubes. It will get more serious with time, and I advise you to take your car to the certified repair shop and get it fixed as fast as possible.
why is the fan kicking on frequently?
Heat sensitive button/switch is located in the system it activates when motor reaches at a certain temperature. Natural air flow is really important for engine to operate without the fan. If the car is stuck in heavy traffic where less air is flowing through the radiator to cool off the internal engine heat then the fan is going to work harder. The electric fan consumes the really small amount of energy because it does not turn when the motor is getting enough air flow through it. Most cars rad fan only operates when there is lack of air flow or rad is plugged externally.
what to do when the car overheats while driving?
Always park your vehicle on a safe spot and switch off the vehicle. Driving an overheated motor can damage the head gasket which leads to motor seizure. Open the bonnet it helps to evaporate the hotness rapidly and never take off the radiator pressure cap when the motor is hot. Always wait for the car to chill off and never pour water on the engine to cut the temp down. Allow the car to cool down naturally and it reduces the pressure in the system to a safe level. When the heat level is normal, check the level and inspect the coolant condition. If the level is low you can add water if proper antifreeze is not accessible. Take your vehicle to the verified technician for repair.
Which one is better green or orange?
Both kinds are Glycol-based, the biggest gap between them is that they contain different oxidation preventive additives. Different suppliers use different colors. Please always READ what it says on the container and compare that to what car manufacturer recommends. Never mix two different kind coolants with each other.
Is it really safe to overfill reservoir?
As antifreeze warms up, it expends and than flows into the over flow tank. In case that container is already full, it will spill on the ground. It is not environment-friendly and contamination the ground. Always turn the heater control to fully open when you drain the old contaminated antifreeze and leave it open when putting in the fresh one. Heater control can cause air to enter the system in case the control switch is not open which can leads to problems.
How to avoid overheating problem?
Regularly keep track of antifreeze level, stay up to date with scheduled service, pay special attention to all kinds of leaks and investigate the condition of radiator pressure cap on regular basis. Keep oil service interval in check, bad oil can lead to overheating. Inspect rad fans blades and run your car to the peak temperature to conform if fans is working properly. Always inspect drive belts cracks and RAD for any external antifreeze drips.
As always I hope this article is going to assist you. Leave me your important comments and concerns. Click on the subscribe button for updates.