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Causes Of Engine Overheating & How To Avoid The Same


One of the critical aspects of maintaining a car's engine is ensuring it achieves optimum operating temperature before you take it out on a hard run. However, in the case of your engine overheating, it can open a completely different Pandora’s box.

There are a lot of reasons which can be causes of engine overheating. A few examples, such as a blocked radiator, a cracked cooling system, a botched water pump, or even a defective thermostat can cause the temperature to rise beyond the average level, leading to overheating of the engine. Yet a single instance of overheating can cause long term issues, which is why it is vital to know the causes and keep an eye out for signs.

Engines these days are built to run for lakhs of kilometers without any trouble, but for that, a regular checkup and maintenance schedule is essential. If kept well, you can expect your vehicle's engine to last as long as you would want it.

I have listed some of the most commonly found causes for engine overheating below:

  • Engine Oil: Lubrication provided by the engine oil has a significant impact on the heat generated by the engine. The choice of engine oil is dependent on the class of vehicle and driving conditions. If you are regularly driving in heavy traffic with constant stop and go or extended runs at high RPMs, fully synthetic oil will provide maximum lubrication to the engine parts preventing wear and tear. For regular use, semi-synthetic is ideal, with Mineral oil being the cheapest alternative for occasional users.


  • Air Leak: One of the could be in the case of air entering the system through a leak. The coolant will drip through the puncture, which will create space for air to get sucked in. This air will take the shape of a bubble, which is known as an airlock. The air bubble will occupy the top part of the engine, because of which the coolant will not be able to push through and reach the engine. Such a situation will result in engine overheating and damage to the radiator.


  • Water Pump: the water pump is responsible for the circulation of the coolant through the engine. You won't make it beyond the first few kilometers without the in-case of a broken water pump. Do not attempt to drive the car with a faulty pump as you will end up damaging the engine for good. The coolant also needs to be replaced at regular intervals to prevent the formation of sludge.


  • Dry Fuel: The fuel also removes a considerable amount of the unused heat in the engine with its basic lubrication properties. However, if you're running the vehicle on gas, it is highly recommended to run the first few and last few kilometers on petrol. In the case of sequential systems, the initial run is taken care of by the system itself, but towards the end of the journey, a manual switch to petrol is what can save the .


  • Radiator: The radiator is the heat exchanger of the car. Heated coolant flows through the radiator after it has passed through the engine and is cooled down. On the highway, natural air flows through it as the car moves, but in city traffic, a fan supports the radiator to keep the temperature in check. In case the fan is not functioning, the radiator will fail to cause .


  • Thermostat: The thermostat is a temperature sensor that measures the engine heat. In the case of a faulty thermostat, the warning sign will not be functional, and also the self-preservation mechanism of the car will fail, leading to severe consequences and ever fire in the engine block. The thermostat is one of the most overlooked causes of engine overheating since it is always assumed to be working.


  • Over Enthusiasm: The dashboard temperature indicator will start to increase if the vehicle is being pushed beyond its limits, alerting you when your starts. Occasionally drivers ignore this warning signal in their enthusiasm to drive the car to its limits and are typical with young drivers or the occasional highway travelers.


If ever you notice steam or smoke billowing from the bonnet of your car, the first thing to do is stop your car right away and step out. Wait for a while, and check under the hood as it does not necessarily mean it's the engine overheating. It could be because of leaking oil, which is burning in the engine or a busted radiator. In such a situation, one should get the car engine inspected by a skillful mechanic to prevent further damages

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