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Guide To Car Engine Overheating

If a car engine’s temperature exceeds its usual operational range, it becomes too hot. This overheating might lead to risky issues such as cooling fluid or warm oil spilling over the engine components.

You should also make it a habit to watch the engine temperature indicator often, and if it points out that the engine is too hot, you must stop driving immediately. We need to learn why this happens so we can prevent it from happening or manage it if it has already happened.

This article will discuss important reasons why car engines get too hot. We will look at different causes of this overheating, such as a thermostat that doesn’t work properly, not enough coolant liquid, a damaged water pump, and a blocked radiator.

Moreover, we will give you workable and strong ways to deal with these problems to stop more harm to the engine.

Causes of Car Overheating

a man holding a noteboard in his hands and checking the car engine overheating

Let us first discuss any issues with the cooling system before considering other reasons. This can mean checking for enough coolant, finding leaks, or checking for parts like the thermostat that are not working properly.

After confirming that the coolant system is not a problem, we can investigate possible causes of the current issue.

Coolant System Issues:

The primary purpose of the coolant system is in its name. It cools down the car engine when it is necessary. That’s why the car overheats if any mechanical issue occurs in the coolant system. Some of the car overheating causes are:

Low Coolant Level:

The coolant fluid is essential for removing the warmth from the engine and spreading it out in the radiator. When there isn’t enough of this fluid, doing that job might not work well.

Coolant Leaks:

The cooling system might leak in various parts, such as the radiator, tubes, or engine pieces, causing insufficient coolness.

Faulty Thermostat:

If it gets stuck and doesn’t open as it should, the engine might have serious problems. It could heat up excessively since the coolant will not move correctly.

Other Potential Causes

We talked about how a problem with the cooling system might be the main cause of the car engine getting too hot. But it’s not just this; there are different causes of engine overheating that can heat your car.

Clogged Radiator

A radiator can become clogged with dirt or garbage, stopping coolant circulation and reducing its capacity to remove heat.

Worn-Out Radiator Fan

It moves air over & cools the fluid. If this component is aged or malfunctioning, it cannot maintain a proper temperature for the engine.

Broken Drive Belts

The belts that operate the water pump and radiator fan can break and overheat the engine.

Low Engine Oil Level

With enough engine oil, components operate with ease and less friction, resulting in reduced heat. However, if the oil is low, friction can lead to engine overheating.

Also Read: How To Check The Oil Level In Your Car’s Engine

Signs Your Car Engine Overheating

Temperature Gauge: If the needle moves towards the “H” area. It means overheating.

Steam or Smoke: Seeing steam or smoke under the hood is an unambiguous signal.

Strange Smells: A sweet smell could indicate a coolant leak because of overheating.

How To Fix Car Overheating

1. Lift the front cover of the vehicle:

  • This helps heat escape more quickly from the engine compartment.
  • It can aid in cooling down the engine faster, especially after a long drive or in hot weather conditions.

2. Switch off your air cooling system:

  • This action reduces pressure on the engine, allowing it to cool down more effectively.
  • It prevents the engine from working harder than necessary, which can contribute to overheating.

3. Check the radiator cap:

  • Look for any obstructions or debris that might be blocking the flow of coolant.
  • Ensure the cap is securely in place to maintain proper pressure and coolant circulation within the system.

4. Inspect for leaks or obstructions:

  • Look around the radiator and hoses for any signs of leaks, such as puddles or stains.
  • Check for obstructions like dirt or debris that could hinder airflow or coolant circulation, leading to overheating issues.

It is good to attempt to repair the problems with your own tools and resources. But if the issue is too complex or you lack the required instruments, it is wise to seek assistance from a professional. In these situations, a tow truck can arrive at your place and help move you and your car to somewhere safe.

Preventing Car Overheating: Maintenance Tips

  • Coolant always helps to remove heat from the engine. Make sure your engine is not hot before you check the amount of coolant in it.
  • Belts help transfer energy between different parts of a car. When they get old or are not tight, engines can get too hot fast.
  • If the pointer on this measure moves to show hot, you should turn off your car and wait for it to cool down.
  • It is best not to use your car when the sun is very strong, as this can make the engine too hot. Also, try to avoid using a lot of air conditioning.


What do you do when your engine is overheating?

When you see your car engine overheating, safely pull aside your car. Wait until it cools down before you check how much coolant is there and search for possible leaks.

What do you do when your engine overheats while idling?

Check the level of the coolant level while turning off the air conditioning if the car’s idle engine overheats, and make sure that the radiator fan is working fine like always.

What do you do when your engine is overheating but the coolant level is whole?

If it becomes too hot even when enough coolant is present in the engine, check the main radiator fan for anything blocking it.


Preventing overheating is crucial for keeping the engine strong and working well. Using high-quality coolants is vital for the maintenance of the cooling system of cars to prevent engine overheating. Shield Lubricants can provide high-quality coolants for radiators of modern automotive vehicles.

Our coolants are specially formulated with ethylene glycol and a corrosion inhibitor for a long life span and to protect against overheating by providing a higher boiling point.

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