Because cars are intricate machines, when one of their systems malfunctions, it can have a cascading effect on the other systems. The cooling system is one of the most important components of a car because it keeps the engine from overheating. If your car has ever overheated and left you stranded on the side of the road with steam pouring out of your hood, you are aware of how dangerous and frustrating it can be. When a car is overheating but still has coolant in it, things can get very perplexing. We’ll look at this problem’s causes and solutions in this article.
Car owners frequently experience overheating, which is frequently caused by a broken cooling system. The radiator and engine block are both cooled by the cooling system, which is in charge of maintaining the engine’s proper temperature. The coolant circulates through the radiator, where it releases heat and cools down, before flowing back to the engine when it gets too hot.
An overheating issue must be fixed right away because if it is not, it could seriously harm the engine. An overheated engine can crack the engine block, warp the cylinder heads, and crack the head gasket, all of which can require expensive repairs. So it’s important to comprehend the cause of and how to fix an overheating car if coolant is present.
Factors that Lead to Overheating When Coolant Is Present
One of the most frequent causes of a car overheating is a blocked radiator. The radiator’s main job is to dissipate heat generated by the coolant; if it’s blocked, the coolant can’t pass through it, which overheats the engine. In the radiator’s fins, debris like leaves and insects can get stuck and obstruct the flow of coolant. Additionally, the radiator’s efficiency can be decreased by rust and corrosion that develop inside of it.
Reduced coolant flow, an elevated engine temperature, and a sweet-smelling exhaust are all indicators of a blocked radiator, which is coolant leaking into the engine.
A tiny valve called a thermostat controls how much coolant enters an engine. It regulates the engine’s temperature by opening and closing as necessary and is situated between the engine and the radiator.
Because it prevents coolant from flowing through the radiator, a broken thermostat can make the engine overheat. A stuck-closed thermostat can stop coolant from entering the engine, overheating it as a result. On the other hand, a stuck-open thermostat can result in coolant flowing continuously and keep the engine from reaching its ideal operating temperature.
A malfunctioning thermostat can cause the engine’s temperature to fluctuate and emit a sweet odor that means coolant is leaking into the engine.
Water Pump Failure
The water pump is in charge of moving the coolant through the radiator and engine. It is situated at the front of the engine and is powered by a crankshaft-connected belt.
The inability of the water pump to effectively circulate the coolant can result in the engine overheating. The impeller, which spins and pumps the coolant, can get worn out, damaged, or come loose, allowing coolant to leak and decreasing the effectiveness of the pump.
Leaks, noise, and a sweet smell, which indicate coolant is leaking into the engine, are symptoms of a failing water pump.
Head Gasket Failure
A vital part that sits between the engine block and cylinder head is the head gasket, which forms a seal to stop coolant and oil from mixing.
Because coolant leaks into the combustion chamber as a result of a head gasket failure, the engine’s capacity to cool down is diminished. Additionally, when coolant leaks into the combustion chamber, it may result in a drop in compression, which will reduce engine performance and power.
A sweet smell, milky-colored oil, and white smoke coming from the exhaust pipe are indications that the head gasket has failed. Additionally, a failed head gasket can be detected if the coolant level is continuously dropping.
Fixes for Overheating with Coolant Present
Unblocking the Radiator
If you think your radiator is clogged, you should start by checking the coolant level and scanning the fins for any potential obstructions. Use a soft brush or compressed air to get rid of any debris you find. You might need to take your car to a mechanic to have the radiator professionally cleaned if the obstruction is severe.
The air conditioning condenser, which is situated in front of the radiator, needs to be kept clean if you want to avoid future radiator blockages. Furthermore, you should avoid driving through deep puddles because they can result in debris getting stuck in the radiator.
Replacing the Thermostat
The thermostat needs to be replaced as soon as you suspect a problem with it. The old thermostat, which is situated between the engine and the radiator, must be taken out in order to accomplish this. For instructions specific to your car, make sure to refer to the service manual.
After removing the old thermostat, you can replace it by performing the same procedure in reverse. Make sure the coolant is at the proper level and is the right kind for your car in order to avoid the thermostat failing. Additionally, the coolant should be changed at the suggested intervals.
Replacing the Water Pump
The water pump must be replaced if it is malfunctioning. It’s best to take your car to a mechanic because replacing the water pump can be a time-consuming and complicated process.
If your car has a timing belt, it’s a good idea to replace it along with the water pump. You should change the coolant at the recommended intervals and make sure the drive belt is in good condition to avoid the water pump failing.
Replacing the Head Gasket
Your car will need to have the head gasket replaced if that is what is causing it to overheat. The engine must be taken apart and removed for the laborious process of replacing a head gasket. It is best carried out by a specialist.
You should use the right oil for your car and change the engine oil at the recommended intervals to avoid a head gasket failure. Additionally, you must make sure that the coolant is the appropriate type and level for your vehicle.