Odd Reasons Your Car Might Be Overheating
by: Dirk Gibson
There is a war going on under your hood. The combatants are many, but two of the key ones are heat and your coolant system. Power is produced in the engine by small explosions. This causes heat that can cripple an engine. The coolant system is designed to go to war against this heat. When the coolant system fails or runs inefficiently, heat can get the upper hand in the battle and ultimately win the battle by killing your engine. So, what sublime problems can lead to overheating?
The first place to look is your radiator hose. No, not the one running out of the engine to the top of the radiator. There is a second hose at the bottom of the radiator that runs to the engine. This hose delivers cool coolant to the engine. It is usually also where the water pump interfaces with the system and moves the coolant. As the hose ages, it looses some of its rigidity. This can lead to problems because the water pump creates a vacuum to move the coolant. The hose can literally suck in on itself such that the walls of the hose crimp. It doesn’t have to crimp much to cut down on the flow of coolant. Even a small reduction in the flow can cause the car to overheat. Try replacing your hoses to see if it resolves the problem.
Is oil part of the coolant system in your car? Yes! Oil not only lubricates, it removes massive amounts of heat from the combustion chamber when it is recycled down through the oil pan. You should regularly change your oil and oil filter. If you don’t check your oil, overheating could result. Being only a half a quart low on oil can reduce the heat removal by 10 percent. That may not sound like a lot, but it is in the modern engine. Change your oil and make sure you maintain the correct level of oil in the engine as recommended by your manufacturer.
The timing of your car can also be a major cause of overheating. In this case, we are talking about a lag in the timing. This results in the gas/air mixture exploding after the piston has reached the optimal point. If the explosion lags excessively, the entire engine will get “speed wobbles” and massive amounts of heat will be produced. A diagnostic test should be able to tell if this is a problem, but you should already know if you car runs like a jalopy.
A car that overheats can be a real bummer. That being said, the solution is often not that expensive. Sometimes, you just have to look a little harder to find out what is causing it.
|About The Author
Dirk Gibson is with http://www.dcjautoparts.com – where you can find auto parts for your coolant system and car in general at great prices.
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