What does it mean when your car overheats? Obviously, you can probably guess that the engine is getting too hot, but why does that happen, and what does it mean? Tony Kennedy's Crain's Automotive in Clarksville, TN explains.
Overheating can be caused by a variety of things, from an air bubble in your coolant or a blown fan fuse, to a bad head gasket or a warped engine head. Faulty thermostats, bad water pumps, low coolant levels, bad radiators, and blocked heater cores or hoses will also cause a car to overheat. If your car is getting hot, it isn’t necessarily a huge problem, as long as the engine doesn’t get too hot for too long. Often, a simple solution will fix your problem. Basically, a car runs the risk of overheating any time the flow of coolant throughout your engine is interrupted, or if the radiator is incapable of displacing enough heat.
However, no matter how simple or complicated an issue is, overheating is a serious problem. A 5 dollar thermostat isn’t a big deal, but if you ignore the problem, allow the engine to get hot enough, or let it stay hot for too long, you’ll be looking at a new engine or serious engine work very soon. Never push your luck if your car is running hotter than normal; keep an eye on your gauge or warning lights - and pull over and shut the car down immediately if the temperature rises too high.
In summary, a car can overheat for various reasons, many of which are not serious. But, the condition of overheating in and of itself is incredibly serious, so a small problem can escalate into a big one very quickly if allowed to. If you are experiencing cooling issues with your vehicle, let our technicians at Tony Kennedy's Crain's Automotive take a look; whether the issue is a simple one or not, fixing the problem will definitely save you an engine. If you need a coolant flush, a new thermostat, or a more complicated solution like a head gasket or a new radiator, our mechanics will diagnose the problem with your car, truck, or SUV and get you back on the road.