Overheating Engine Inspection And Troubleshooting

If you haven't taken your vehicle in for a tune up in a while, there could be some failing and weakening components that may be cheaper if you fix them before a complete failure happens. Especially in cases of high water temperatures or an overheating engine, you don't want to risk yourself by driving without repairs for too long. A few inspection and troubleshooting techniques can help you determine the cause of your overheating problems in order to get a more accurate estimate from mechanics.

When Checking Fluids Isn't Good Enough

Many drivers know to check their fluids on a regular basis, especially during major temperature changes. In the winter, coolant/antifreeze may lead to a frozen fluid system. In the summer, your vehicle may overheat and stop unexpectedly—hopefully before expensive damage is done.

After filling your vehicle, you also need to check for leaks. Part of checking fluids is making sure that you have enough fluid—or any fluid at all. Consult your vehicle's manual for how to look at the reservoir and coolant bay fluid levels.

If the proper fluid type for your vehicle is added and you have enough fluid at all times, overheating can still be a problem in a few rare instances. Don't shrug off the problem as a weird indication; look deeper into the overheating problem 

Thermostat Clogging And Failure

For vehicles, thermostats are often small, disc-shaped devices that are inserted into the water flow path. The thermostat's valve opens and closes depending on how much water is needed and what the engine temperature is.

If you have a lot of rust in your radiator or some debris in the water system, the thermostat may become clogged. Water won't be able to flow as easily, and the engine will overheat due to the lack of cooler water passing through the cooling system.

You'll need to replace the thermostat, but there is a technique to use in case the clog happens often and a radiator replacement isn't viable yet; remove the thermostat and observe the temperature on an hourly basis.

If the outside temperature isn't too hot, a constant flow of water may not be a problem. The constant temperature of the water cycling through the system may be higher than normal, but it will still be enough to cool the engine. You may be able to get away with this technique for mild temperatures under 100 degrees, but proceed with caution for anything beyond that.

For help with checking for any strange temperature issues or to check out your vehicle before a bad problem gets worse, contact a mechanic team specializing in car tune ups, such as those from Advanced Auto Care.