Car is Running Hot

10 Reasons Why Your Car is Running Hot

When the temperature gauge on your automobile goes into the hot range, it’s a scary sight. The worst thing you can do is keep driving, hoping it will magically cool down without intervention. When an engine starts heading towards the red area on your gauge, it’s a cause for alarm, to let you know that your car is running hot.

Common Reasons Your Car is Running Hot

Many things can cause your engine to overheat. No one wants to pull over and deal with these issues, but if you don’t stop the car immediately, it can lead to total engine failure. Here are the most common reasons why your car is running hot.

1. Radiator Hose Leaks

A radiator hose leak is one of the most common reasons your engine will overheat. The hose can wear over time, or a clamp may have come loose. You may not see a leak, but you must look for evidence of one.

2. Low Coolant Level

Coolant does just what the name implies, as it cools the engine. The temperatures under the hood can get upwards of 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and it will reach this temperature with the cooling system working.

You can see why you will have issues when the coolant level is too low. It’s not always just as easy as putting more coolant into the radiator, as you need to find the source of the leak. In most cases, a low coolant level is a sign of a big problem, and may be the cause of why your car is running hot.

3. Gasket Leaks

If you see steam or dripping coolant, then you could have a gasket leak. Three gaskets cause the most problems in your engine, and they are:

•Head Gasket
•Temperature Housing Gasket
•Water Pump Gasket

You can indicate a leak by looking for old stains or dripping. Sometimes the leak may be intermittent due to sludge in the lines. As the sludge moves around, the leak may stop for a while.

Consequently, as soon as it moves again, it will start all over. These are serious leakages, as they can lead to total engine failure.

4. Faulty Thermostat

Thermostats are inexpensive to replace and need to be replaced occasionally. It’s similar to the thermostat that controls the HVAC in your home. If you can’t adjust the temperature up or down, you will be miserable in your house.

Well, without this equipment working correctly, the engine will become too hot. The thermostat either gets stuck on open or close in most instances. This is one of the top causes of why your car is running hot, so it should be one of the first things checked.

5. Bad Water Pump

The average water pump will get anywhere from 60,000-90,000 miles. However, they can get a leak in a hose, or the internal fan can stop working at any time. Sometimes the pump will show signs of failure or leak before it goes out, but other times there will be no indication. These pumps go bad all the time, so it’s one of the things we check first, when your car is running hot.

6. AC Cooling Fan

Your AC system generates a lot of heat, as it’s removing warm air to replace it with cold. When the system engages, a fan turns on to help keep things cool. The fan can stop working for many reasons, including a simple fuse. The fan motor can also go bad, as well as a sensor.

7. Radiator Airflow Obstruction

The radiator sits in the front of your vehicle, so it picks up a lot of debris on the roadway. Occasionally, it’s good to clean out the fins to ensure it works properly. Things often get lodged between the grill and the radiator. An obstructed airflow can be the cause of why your car is running hot.

8. Cracked Head or Cylinder Wall

While there are some pretty benign things on this list, this one certainly isn’t one of them. When you have a cracked head or cylinder wall in your engine, it’s cause for alarm. The common signs of this are bubbles in the cooling system.

A compression test is the best way to identify this issue, as you must ensure the engine can hold compression. It can be a head gasket leaking, which is not always easy to find. When it comes to significant issues with your engine, you need to have a professional handle it.

9. Broken Fan Belts

Some automobiles have a belt-driven fan. These belts are rubber, so they can snap and break without warning. They also can squeal really loudly when they become worn, dirty, or misaligned. Check these often for wear and cracks, as they can leave you stranded should they break while driving.

10. Electrolysis

When electrical currents get into your cooling system, electrolysis occurs. This low current will corrode the metal inside your system, and it can cause the engine to overheat and may be the cause of why your car is running hot. Loose or corroded ground straps often cause it. This current will destroy your radiator, heater, and water pump, but a voltmeter can help diagnose the problem.

Final Thoughts on Why Your Car is Running Hot

While these are ten reasons your engine can overheat and may be the cause of why your car is running hot, it’s certainly not all of them. These are just the most common ones we encounter at Cloverdale Auto. When your thermostat starts rising on your car, it’s time to pull over.

Even if it doesn’t go into the red zone, it still indicates that there’s a problem. There are some simple things that you can fix yourself, but for most issues dealing with an overheating vehicle, you need to call us for service.

Pothole, Seasonal Damage & Vehicle Repair

Seasonal Damage & Vehicle Repair

Seasonal Damage & Vehicle Repair

Spring is here, at least according to the calendar. Has the winter weather and salt-covered roads taken a toll on your vehicle? If so, this is a great time to go ahead and get necessary vehicle repair. Here are some seasonal factors that can cause damage to your vehicle:

Vehicle Repairs related to ICE:

One of many driver’s most dreaded weather phenomena is ice…

Frozen Windshield Seasonal Damage & Vehicle Repair

It’s not only dangerous on the road, but it can cause damage when it freezes and cakes on your vehicle.

During the winter months when your vehicle is covered in ice, try removing it with your hands, if at all possible. If that doesn’t do the trick, start the car and let the heater slowly melt the ice. Unfortunately, there is no way to instantaneously make the ice on your vehicle disappear. It’s a good idea to plan ahead during the winter months and allow yourself a little extra time to ready your vehicle and melt ice that accumulates on your vehicle.

Of course, keep in mind, ice scrapers are only meant for use on vehicle windows! Although time and time again, many drivers use ice scrapers on other parts of their vehicle, for instance the body. Doing so can easily cause damage to a vehicle’s paint. Thus requiring costly vehicle repair. Getting a vehicle painted isn’t cheap. Accidentally scraping paint off your vehicle’s body leaves bare metal exposed. Ultimately bare metal leads to rust.

One of the worst possible ways to melt ice on the windows is to pour hot water on them. This can cause the glass to shatter, and you’ll then end up having shattered glass and water refreeze on your driveway. Cleaning up that mess is not a pleasant experience. Nor is your vehicle repair bill for a replacement windshield. Be certain to NEVER use hot water to melt ice on your vehicle.

SALT Related Vehicle Repairs:

During a winter storm, we breathe a sigh of relief when we see a salt and sand truck doing its job. Because that means all the nasty snow and ice on the road will soon disappear. However, we also know one negative result will be the potential damage an entire winter season of salted roads can do to our vehicles.

Because salt is extremely corrosive, it can cause rust on the exterior of your vehicle.  At the very least, rust gives your car an unsightly appearance.

The effects of salt can be much more serious when there’s damage to the subframe underneath the vehicle…

The problem only worsens when you park your vehicle in the garage. All the snow, ice and salt that have accumulated then begin eating away at the frame, coil springs, exhaust, and muffler systems.

Another serious effect of road salt is damage to hydraulic brakes. This can lead to dangerous leaks. If you notice salt damage in the brake area, don’t hesitate get your vehicle repaired at a professional auto repair shop. At Cloverdale Auto, we’ll check your brake system to make sure it’s safe and working properly.

Vehicle Repair Issues Related To “Hitting A Pothole”:

Now that it’s spring, drivers have another challenge to face: The very dreaded……pothole…

Pothole, Seasonal Damage & Vehicle Repair

Potholes form when ice and running water weaken or displace the soil base underneath the pavement. This then causes it to crack or chip away as vehicles drive over the area. The holes grow larger and larger with time and traffic.

Not all potholes cause immediate blowouts. It’s possible your tire might have tread separation or sidewall bulges. Tread separation appears as large cracks between the sidewall and tread sections. Minor cracks need to be monitored for additional damage, but wide cracks require immediate replacement of the tire.

You might not even notice a bulge immediately after it occurs. However, you should replace the tire once you realize the bulge is there. A bulge results when air enters the internal layers of the tire and eventually reaches the outer layer where it collects as it attempts to escape to the outside. The bulge strains the interior cords and weakens the tire, which can cause an unsuspected blowout.

If you happen to hit a large pothole, it’s a good idea to bring it to a professional.  Doing so will give you the peace of mind that there’s no major damage requiring immediate vehicle repair.

Hitting the hard angles of a pothole can also bend, chip or crack your wheel. You’ll likely detect a chip because it appears as a chunk missing from the area of the junction between the rim and tire. A crack, however, can be a nearly-invisible hairline fracture along the circumference of the wheel or in a spoke. In either case, take it to a professional mechanic, like Cloverdale Auto Service, to have the rim replaced.

A sudden impact with a pothole can also cause suspension problems, such as misalignment or broken ball joints, shocks or struts. Loose handling may be indicative of any of these problems. Unusual sounds or vibrations could indicate broken ball joints, shocks or struts. As experienced mechanics, we at Cloverdale Auto can inspect your vehicle’s entire suspension system to check for any and all of these problems.

Cloverdale Auto Service