4 Reasons a Car Overheats

By Product Expert | Posted in Service, Tips and Tricks on Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 at 8:55 pm
steaming car engine overheated hood up

Automotive technology has advanced a lot in the last decade, but not enough to eliminate overheating problems. Almost any machine can overheat, but there are mechanisms in place that are designed to prevent this from happening. If your car is overheating when you drive, it is probably for one of the following reasons. Be sure to get your car serviced as soon as you can, but the points below might help you understand the cause.

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Can a Car Overheat Because of Low Oil?

Maintaining fresh, clean oil is one of the most important parts of owning a car. Motor oil is thick and great at transferring heat because it is made to lubricate high friction points in your car. When it does, it helps keep moving parts cool and clear of obstructions. When you run low on oil, your components heat up and they could be damaged. Be sure to not only keep enough oil in your car but make sure to drain out old oil and oil filters.

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How Do I Know if My Car is Low on Coolant?

Oil isn’t enough. Engines produce a lot of heat when they run, so a special coolant system works to keep your car below dangerous temperatures. You might be leaking coolant, or it might just run low over time if you notice your car is heating up. Check your coolant according to the instructions in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

woman in white shirt and jeans stressed about overheated car
gloved hand holding coolant tank cap open

Could a Broken Water Pump Cause Overheating?

Water is an important part of the coolant system in your car. Although water is usually mixed with antifreeze coolant, the device that circulates the mixture is called a water pump, and it can fail. If it does, your car will not be able to keep cool. Take your car in for service if your water pump fails.

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How Do I Know if Something is Wrong with my Radiator?

Another part of engine cooling is your radiator. Your radiator has fans that pull heat away from the engine and into a block of metal that is cooled by the outside air while you drive. If these fans slow down, break, or get jammed, your engine will eventually overheat after a few miles. It might not happen right away but failing radiator fans should be fixed sooner rather than later.

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