Your car’s engine operates at a consistently high temperature. The energy needed to move your car results from thousands of explosions per minute that occur within your car engine’s cylinders. The chemical and mechanical energy produced also contributes to the rising temperature. Keeping it under control is critical. If the heat rises too high, your engine will overheat, potentially causing significant damage, for complete car engine services call NOLAAutomotiveRepairs.com for a trusted car repair shop.
This article will provide an introduction to a few common causes of an overheating engine. We’ll start with low oil levels before taking a look at leaking head gaskets, coolant leaks, and failing water pumps.
Low Oil Levels
Motor oil is essential to the life of your engine. It provides lubrication for the moving parts and helps to transfer heat away from the cylinders. Suppose there is an insufficient oil level in the assembly. In that case, the moving parts will create excess friction as they rub against each other. That friction would not only cause damage to the moving parts but would also generate intense heat. The temperature would continue to rise, placing all of the components at risk of further damage. This is the reason it is essential to check your oil level every two weeks.
A Leaking Head Gasket
The head gasket sits between the engine block and the cylinder head. Usually, it maintains a strong seal that prevents coolant from leaking into the individual cylinders. If the engine runs too hot, the block and cylinder head may experience thermal expansion. As they expand, they can crush the head gasket and thereby break the seal.
If the head gasket allows coolant into the cylinders, the entire assembly can overheat. If the leaking gasket’s root cause is not identified and fixed, replacing the gasket may only represent a short-term solution; it will likely leak again.
Coolant plays an essential role in regulating the heat around your engine. It carries heat from the assembly to the radiator. The problem is, there are several points along the way that can form leaks, including the hoses, head gasket, water pump, and the radiator itself.
The best way to find leaks throughout the cooling system is to pressure test everything. Suppose your car’s cooling system is working correctly. In that case, it should maintain approximately 12 psi for a quarter of an hour without losing any pressure. If you notice a loss in pressure, check the head gasket and cylinder block. Both are common points of coolant leakages.
Faulty Water Pump
Your car’s water pump is responsible for pressurizing the coolant and sending it to the engine and throughout the cooling system. If the component fails, it will prevent sufficient coolant from circulating properly. That can cause the assembly to overheat.
One of the most common reasons a water pump fails is because the impeller vanes become eroded or loose. This often happens with impellers that are made of plastic. Both events can prevent the impellers from turning, which hampers coolant circulation.
Usually, the thermostat opens whenever your engine reaches a specific temperature. By opening, it allows coolant to circulate from the radiator to the assembly. If the thermostat fails to open, the coolant will be unable to flow to the engine and lower its operating temperature. Overheating is a likely outcome.
Heat is not, in itself, bad for your car’s engine. In fact, the higher its operating temperature, the more efficiently it runs. However, there is a ceiling past which the pistons and cylinder heads start to melt. Plus, if the assembly lacks enough oil to lubricate the moving parts, friction can generate high temperatures and potentially cause overheating.