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The Causes of Car Overheating

Imagine you hop in the car with your family for a weekend getaway. After a few miles on the road, the engine starts smoking. What would you do?


Ensure that you maintain your engine properly and on schedule to avoid such inconveniences. However, if your engine overheats anyway (it can still happen despite maintaining your car), this article gives you some tips on what you can do (and not do!) during such a disaster.


What Causes Engines to Overheat?

Multiple factors can cause your engine to overheat. In most cases, it would be due to something wrong within your car's cooling system; as a result, heat does not escape the engine compartment effectively.


Below are some reasons behind an engine overheating:

  • Broken water pump
  • A cooling system leak
  • Clogged coolant hose
  • Faulty radiator fan

No matter the source of the problem, an overheating engine is not something you should ignore. The damage can be far more costly if unattended as the engine could sustain serious or permanent damage.


Signs Your Engine Is Overheating

You should take the necessary steps to cool your engine to avoid damage or failure. Before you do that, you have to look for the following red flags:

  • Smoke-like-steam coming from under the car hood.
  • Engine temperature gauge on the dashboard warning on high temperature. Temperature symbols vary with manufacturers. It can spike to "H" or into the red. Consult your owner's manual for accurate symbols.
  • A strange smell from the engine area. Leaking oil may smell burnt while leaking coolant might smell sweet.

What to Do When You Notice Engine Overheating

As soon as you notice any of the above symptoms of engine overheating, take the following steps. You should also consider contacting our auto repair shop today.

  • Turn off the A/C and crank the heat
  • Find a safe place to pull over
  • Shut down the engine and wait for sometime
  • Open the wood
  • Perform a visual inspection
  • Check and add coolant (if you have it, but take precaution)
  • Restart the engine

Call a tow truck if the condition is severe; otherwise, visit our auto repair shop as soon as possible.


What Not to Do When You Notice Engine Overheating:

  • Do not panic
  • Do not keep moving
  • Do not open the hood immediately
  • Do not allow the issue to linger

How Engine Overheat Can Be Prevented with Regular Maintenance

If you take care of your car, it will serve you. You can prevent an overheating car engine by having regular coolant flushes and exchanges on your car. Also, stay on schedule with radiator maintenance as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. You should also ensure that routine inspections are performed to repair any potential engine or radiator issues in time.


You can protect and prevent your engine from overheating by allowing Gordon Automotive to perform preventative maintenance anytime you visit us. If your engine has already suffered some damage or if you need engine repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop in Austin, TX, today!