The Most Likely Reasons Your Car Is Overheating
An engine failure is probably one of the worst mechanical failings a car can face, especially if it’s caused by overheating. In many cases, repairs won’t be possible and a full replacement will be required; this can cost thousands of pounds, which is sometimes worth more than the car itself! Engines can overheat for a variety of reasons. Understanding them is the first step in avoiding them. Here are the most likely reasons your car is overheating…
What’s Causing It: There are a host of reasons why your car may be overheating, but some are far more common than others. It could be something as simple as low coolant levels, this could either be caused by a lack of proper maintenance or leakage. In this respect, there could also be a water pump failure; this means that, even if there’s enough coolant to go around, it’s not where it should be and when. Your car might have a radiator blockage. This means that antifreeze won’t be able to flow through it properly and, as a result, heat won’t be able to disperse properly. More generally, your thermostat may become stuck which means your engine’s temperature won’t be properly regulated. Finally, you could be facing a blown head gasket or a plugged heater core. The former means means hot air gets sucked in and coolant begins to leak. The latter means that coolant flow can become restricted.
What To Do: If your engine is overheating, the absolute worst thing you can do is to continue to drive your car around. It needs to be turned off and allowed to cool down as soon as you notice that there’s something wrong. In this sense, it’s all about being as alert as possible. If you notice coolant leaking onto the ground or see steam rising up from the bonnet, the chances are the damage has already been done. It can be tempting just to top up water and coolant levels and then attempt to drive again. Remember, many of the problems behind engines overheating are difficult to spot to the untrained eye. If in doubt, get a professional mechanic or technician to look at it as soon as possible.
How Much Do Repairs Cost: Often too much. Sometimes engine overheating renders a car completely useless, as repairs can be so high they exceed the actual value of the car! Minor repairs, like changing the thermostat or antifreeze flushes, can cost a few hundred pounds. However, if the damage is so extensive that the structure of the engine itself is damaged, you could be looking at thousands of pounds as a replacement will likely be needed. Not only are modern car engines expensive, they’re complicated and time-consuming to install; meaning high labour costs. Diesel engines are often more expensive than petrol equivalents, as are specialist and high-performance variants. In short, it’s far cheaper and less stressful to get your car regularly serviced and checked over.
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