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? Nott's Automotive in Sarasota, FL explains.
Why Routine Cooling System Maintenance is Important
Approximately 284 million Americans own a car. If you're like most car owners, you work very hard to keep your automobile functional and reliable. The modern car engine has various parts, and none are more important than the cooling system.
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.
Without the proper routine maintenance, it is only a matter of time before your cooling system starts to malfunction. Below are some reasons why investing in professional car cooling system maintenance is so important.
Identify Coolant Leaks Early On
The heat in your engine can only be transferred effectively with the right amount of liquid in your cooling system. The liquid coolant in your engine allows for the proper transfer of heat and prohibits engine damage by preventing boiling and freezing. Without the proper amount of coolant, component damage and corrosion are a near certainty.
Most people don't check their car's coolant level on a regular basis. Many don't perform a regular coolant flush. Allowing professionals to inspect and maintain your engine cooling system is a great way to detect low coolant levels or leaks early on. If there is a coolant leak, it is only a matter of time before your engine runs hot. When this happens, you run the risk of experiencing problems like:
- Warped cylinder heads
- Damage to your exhaust system
- Blown head gaskets
- Damaged radiator hoses
If a mechanic detects a coolant leak, they can quickly diagnose the cause of this problem. With their assistance, you can fix your coolant leak before it wreaks havoc on your engine.
Flushing Your Radiator is Important
One of the most important components of your car's cooling system is the radiator. The radiator is designed to remove excess heat from your engine. The liquid coolant in your engine circulates through the radiator. As this circulation process happens, the heat in the coolant is released through the metal fins on the radiator.
By releasing the excess heat in the coolant, your radiator can keep your engine's internal temperature at acceptable levels. As time goes by, rust and scale deposits will start to build up in your radiator. During routine car cooling system maintenance, a mechanic can flush your radiator to remove this debris.
Once the debris is removed, the coolant in your engine will be able to circulate in your radiator much better. The longer you allow your radiator to go without proper flushing, the harder it will be to avoid issues with this vital component of your cooling system.
Assess The Condition of Your Water Pump
The water pump works hard to push coolant from your engine through your radiator. If this vital cooling system component is damaged, your coolant will remain in the system, unable to circulate properly. This usually leads to engine overheating, which is why identifying and fixing water pump problems is important.
During routine car cooling system maintenance, a mechanic will inspect your water pump. However, problems with this vital component can surface after this procedure is completed. If your water pump is having problems doing the job it is intended for, you may start to notice issues like:
- Coolant leaks
- Engine overheating
- Loud whining noises
As soon as you detect one or more of these problems, you need to consult with a trusted mechanic.
Don't Ignore the Importance of Cooling System Maintenance
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 Nott'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.
Nott's Automotive, Sarasota FL
Nott's Automotive in Sarasota, FL has the expertise to keep your car's cooling system up to date. Regular maintenance is an important part of car ownership. Don't wait until your vehicle overheats, call today to get your appointment scheduled: (941) 379-4321