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Car Engine Heating

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 07/12/2023

Engine failure in the middle of a drive can be frustrating, especially when travelling with family. Car engine overheating can be a major reason for engine failure. If not fixed immediately, a car can undergo permanent damage due to the engine heating problem.

Modern cars come with advanced cooling systems. These systems have heat sensors and electric fans controlled by software. They help keep the engine running smoothly in all weather conditions. However, sometimes, the engine can still overheat. Therefore, to deal wisely with the situation and protect your vehicle, you must understand the car engine heat problem, the causes of engine overheating, and the potential solutions.

Here is a comprehensive guide on understanding car overheating and managing it wisely.

Why do Car Engines Overheat?

A car engine consists of various components, each playing a role in its proper functioning. When a part encounters issues, it can affect the entire system's performance.

For instance, a car comprises a cooling system designed to manage excess heat generation. If the coolant system fails to function properly due to malfunctioning, it may cause the car engine overheating.

Likewise, there may be several other reasons for car overheating. However, if your car breaks down in the middle of the road, the mystery of 'car overheating - why' requires a thorough examination by a mechanic.

Reasons for Car Overheating

The car engine overheating may result due to the below-listed reasons:

Shortage of coolant

Coolant is a mixture of antifreeze, particularly ethylene glycol, diluted with water. Unlike water, this solution freezes at a lower temperature, making it a more effective coolant in cold weather.

The function of an engine coolant is to maintain an appropriate temperature of the car engine and protect it from overheating. If the coolant fails to reach the radiator because of blockage, pump malfunction, or a leak, it can result in the car engine heating up fast.

Defective thermostat

A car thermostat functions to manage the flow of its coolant. It enables the coolant to flow only when the engine heats up. The thermostat's main valve remains closed when the engine is idle or cool.

If the thermostat cannot regulate the flow of the coolant as and when required, it can cause engine heating problems. This occurs when the thermostat cannot open the valves, stopping the engine radiator from receiving the coolant.

Defective radiator fan

The coolant absorbs the engine heat and passes through the radiator. The radiator consists of a cooling fan that helps reduce the engine temperature by allowing the coolant to transfer the engine heat to the atmosphere.

If, by chance, the radiator fan malfunctions, the cooling effect of the coolant is reduced.

Low engine oil

Lubrication reduces friction and helps keep your engine cool. The engine oil is an excellent lubricant to reduce the excessive engine heat.

If your vehicle is low on engine oil, it may cause car engine overheating.

Damaged expansion tank

Today, nearly every vehicle has a coolant expansion tank that manages the pressure in the cooling system.

However, if the expansion tank cannot release pressure from the radiator, it can lead to engine overheating.

How Can You Stop Your Car from Overheating?

An overheated cabin can affect the engine's efficiency, as the car's AC works harder to cool down the interior. Therefore, it is important to maintain a normal car temperature at all given times.

Here are some tips to help prevent car engine overheating.

Park your vehicle in the shade

Parking your car out in the sun can significantly increase its temperature, not just inside the cabin but also inside the car bonnet. Additionally, a heated cabin takes longer to cool down when you switch on the AC.

To escape this problem, park your vehicle in a shady parking space. Alternatively, you can also cover your car to decrease heat absorption.

Enable natural ventilation by leaving the windows open

Closing all your car windows when parked traps hot air inside. Leaving them slightly open allows for better ventilation. If your car has a sunroof, cracking it open during parking creates natural airflow and keeps the cabin cool.

However, consider weather conditions, as leaving windows open during unexpected summer rainfall can result in a damp interior.

Use the car's air conditioner smartly

Ensure that you use the car's air conditioner so it does not apply much pressure on the engine.

For example, refrain from switching on the air conditioner in recirculation mode. Rather, opt for the fresh air mode for the initial ten minutes. The recirculation setting circulates the existing hot air.

After the cabin air cools down, you can change the air conditioner to recirculation mode.

How Can You Keep Your Car Engine in Good Condition?

Incorporate the following practices to avoid engine overheating in your car.

Consistently monitor the coolant level

Consistently checking the coolant level in the car radiator is a useful practice to prevent car engine overheating. It helps you add the required fluid as and when required. However, ensure that the engine is cool before you open the radiator to check the level of the coolant in the car.

Manage the air conditioner usage to decrease engine pressure

While driving out on the road on a long journey, you must wisely manage the usage of the air conditioner. Make it a habit to occasionally turn the air conditioner off to reduce the extra burden on the engine. Extended air conditioner use during long journeys raises the risk of engine overheating.

Another habit to help manage car overheating is to turn on the heater after switching off the air conditioner and open the windows. This enables the engine heat to release and escape via the cabin. The process may feel uncomfortable, especially in the summer, but it enables you to keep up with your long journey without overheating disruptions.

Keep an eye out for the temperature indicator

During your extended road trip, monitor your engine's condition using the temperature indicator. Depending on your car model, it could be a gauge or light on your dashboard. Regularly checking the engine temperature allows you to adjust your speed or make periodic stops, helping prevent overheating.

Replace an old car battery with a new one

An old battery needs to work harder to produce the needed power. Weaker and older batteries require consistent recharging to deliver the required power, leading to excessive car engine overheating. It would help if you regularly had your vehicle's battery checked by a professional and replaced it as and when required.

Implement a regular radiator flushing routine

Maintaining the right coolant level in your vehicle is essential but not sufficient. You also need to replace it regularly. Radiator flushing can help you achieve this. This method involves the drainage of the existing coolant from the radiator.

You can seek assistance from a professional at a service centre for radiator flushing. Ensure the mechanic thoroughly cleans the radiator lines before refilling with the new coolant. Regularly performing this task will guarantee optimal performance from the engine's coolant.

To Conclude

Car overheating or any other unexpected event, such as a breakdown on the road, theft, accidents, and more, can lead to significant challenges. These situations are not only unpleasant, but they may also require immediate financial assistance.

Motor insurance can come to your rescue in times of crisis. It provides financial protection to your car in case of any unforeseen situation requiring financial support. With comprehensive insurance for the car, you can enjoy complete coverage and avail of financial assistance in times of need.

Additionally, when you buy car insurance from Tata AIG, you can choose an Engine Secure add-on cover that offers targeted coverage for issues related to the car’s engine, including damage due to the car engine overheating.

Tata AIG provides you with easy and simple steps to get the desired coverage for your car within minutes. Moreover, you can avail of quick car insurance renewal online and 24*7 expert assistance if you ever get stuck at any step of the process.


Does heat damage your engine?

Overheating can cause severe damage to your car engine. The intense heat makes the engine parts expand and contract, resulting in cracks. These cracks can negatively impact performance, lead to significant oil leakage, and contribute to further overheating.

What are the signs of engine overheating?

Here are the common signs of car engine overheating:

  • Hot bonnet

  • Temperature indicator

  • Smoke coming out of the bonnet

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