Your car’s engine is going to get to be very hot when you’re driving around. The temperature of your engine will usually sit somewhere between 195 and 220 degrees. As long as it doesn’t go any higher than that, you won’t have anything to worry about. But if it creeps higher than 220 degrees, it means you have a car running hot on your hands.
You’ll know that you have a car running hot when the temperature gauge on your dashboard climbs into the red out of nowhere and won’t come back down. You should not ignore this since you could do some serious damage to your engine if you continue to drive your car while it’s overheating. Take some time to learn about what can cause a car to run hot below.
What Causes a Car to Run Hot?
When you notice your car running hot, one of the first things you’re going to wonder is, “What’s causing this to happen?” It can be tricky answering this question because there are actually a whole host of reasons why your car might start to overheat. You’re going to have to try and figure it out sooner rather than later so that you can bring the temperature of your engine back down and get it to cool off. Here are several of the most common causes of a car running hot.
1. Your Car Doesn’t Have Enough Coolant in It
The most common cause of a car running hot is a lack of coolant in it. There is coolant in your car’s cooling system that is specifically designed to keep your engine cool. If you don’t have enough of it in your car at any point, it’s inevitably going to lead to your car overheating on you.
Every time you have your car worked on, you should ask your mechanic to check your fluid levels and top your fluids off. It can prevent you from running low on coolant at any point. You shouldn’t have to be concerned about your car running hot when it’s always stocked up on coolant.
2. Your Cooling System Has Sprung a Leak
You might make it a point to keep plenty of coolant in your car’s cooling system. But if your cooling system springs a leak, guess what? You’re going to find yourself with a car running hot!
You should glance underneath your car after it has been parked for a little while to see if you can spot any coolant on the ground. Coolant is usually green, orange, or blue, and it has a sweet smell to it. If you see any of it on the ground, it likely means that you have a leak in your cooling system that’ll need to be fixed ASAP.
3. Your Water Pump Is Broken
The water pump that’s in your car is responsible for keeping the coolant in your cooling system circulating. If it goes bad on you, it’s going to stop coolant from keeping your engine cool and result in your car running hot.
There are some instances in which your water pump will die on you without warning and need to be replaced. But it might also go bad if your car is filled with dirty coolant. You should keep your coolant fresh so that you don’t put any unnecessary stress on your water pump at any time.
4. Your Radiator Isn’t Working
Although you might automatically associate a radiator with heat, the radiator in your car is actually in charge of helping to keep your engine cool. It works to remove heat from your coolant so that your coolant is able to cool off your engine at all times.
If your car’s radiator stops working in the way that it should, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have a car running hot on your hands. Your coolant isn’t going to be as effective as it normally is when your radiator has gone bad.
Repairing or replacing the radiator in your car isn’t going to be cheap. It could cost you almost $800 in some cases. But it might be the only option that you have when your car is running hot.
5. Your Oil Is On the Lower Side
The oil that works its way through your car’s engine plays an important part in lubricating all the parts in it. But it also does more than just that. In addition to providing your engine’s parts with lubrication, oil also helps to control the temperature in your engine.
With this in mind, you’re going to find yourself with your car running hot if you don’t change your oil often enough. You need to make sure that you have the recommended amount of oil in your engine all the time to keep the temperature down.
6. Your Thermostat Is On the Fritz
The thermostat in your car keeps an eye on what the temperature is in your engine. And when it gets to be too hot, it lets your cooling system know that it needs to send coolant to cool it off. But problems can arise when your thermostat stops working as intended. This can result in your car running hot.
If your thermostat malfunctions, your cooling system might not release enough coolant to cool off your engine. This will lead to the temperature in your engine spiking without your cooling system even recognizing it. You’ll need to replace your old thermostat with a new one that’ll be able to keep tabs on the temperature in your engine more effectively.
7. Your Coolant Hoses Are Experiencing Issues
There are a bunch of hoses in your car’s cooling system that carry coolant around so that it can keep your engine cool. These coolant hoses are made to withstand the tough conditions in and around your engine, but they can experience issues over time. They can leak, get backed up, and even rupture altogether, which can leave you with your car running hot.
There are also a series of hoses located in your cooling system that also need to be in good condition for your cooling system to function properly. If they’re ever frayed or worn-out, you’ll need to get them replaced to steer clear of your car running hot.
8. Your Heater Core Is Clogged
While it’s one of the least common causes of a car running hot, there is a chance that the heat exchanger unit in your engine might become blocked or clogged at some point in time. When it goes, it can end up with your car running hot. It will disrupt the flow of coolant in your car and cause complications for you.
What Should You Do If You Have a Car Running Hot?
When you first notice your car running hot, you might not think twice about it. But you should be alarmed by the sight of your temperature gauge letting you know that your engine is hotter than it should be! You could do some real damage to your engine and possibly even put yourself into a position where you’ll have to repair or replace your engine if you’re not careful.
Rather than continuing to drive your car, you should take the following steps when you have a car running hot. They’ll help you avoid a disaster with your car’s engine.
1. Pull Your Car Over Right Away
The second that you see your car running hot, do yourself a favor and pull over. You might be tempted to push your car for another mile or two to see if the conditions within your engine will change. But more often than not, the situation is going to go from bad to real bad fast when your car is running hot.
2. Try Turning On the Heat in Your Car
If you have the air conditioning running in your car when it begins to overheat, turn it off and turn the heat on instead. This might seem counterintuitive based on what’s happening. But turning your heat on can actually pull some of the heat that’s surrounding your engine away from it. It might help your engine to cool off faster once you get it off the road.
3. Open Up All Your Car’s Windows
In addition to turning your car’s heat on, you should also open up every window in your car if you can. By rolling your car’s windows down, you’ll provide all the heat that is going to begin blowing through your vents with somewhere to go. If you don’t do this, you yourself might start to overheat, and you might also allow a dangerous amount of heat to build up in your car.
4. Call a Tow Truck
Once you get your car off the road and shut it off, it should start to cool off for you. But that doesn’t mean that you should start it up again after it’s done cooling off and try to drive it. You should call a tow truck instead and have your car taken in for repairs. A mechanic will be able to assess the situation and figure out why your car is running hot.
How Can You Prevent a Car From Running Hot?
There are many instances in which your car running hot will be unavoidable. If, for example, your car’s water pump goes bad due to its age, there isn’t going to be anything that you could have done to stop it from happening. But there are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of your car running hot. Check out a few of them below.
1. Keep a Close Eye on Your Coolant Levels
As we mentioned a little while ago, you need to have enough coolant in your car at all times to keep your engine cool. You should try to get yourself into the habit of checking your coolant levels every so often to ensure that you’re not low on it. It’s easy enough to pop your car’s hood and check your coolant levels on your own.
2. Store a Bottle of Coolant in Your Trunk
Even if you check on your coolant levels all the time, you might find yourself without much coolant in your car due to a leak at some point. In an instance like this, it’ll really help to have some coolant handy. You should buy a bottle of it and stick it in your trunk, just in case. If you happen to spring a leak in your cooling system, you’ll be able to add some coolant to your car so that you can drive it to an auto repair shop.
3. Monitor Your Thermostat Gauge at All Times
If you’re not doing this already, you should make it your mission to glance down at your car’s thermostat gauge every now and then while you’re behind the wheel. It’s kind of amazing to think this, but some people don’t ever do it. You can avoid driving around with a car running hot by always having one eye on this gauge.
Can You Sell a Car That’s Always Running Hot?
Have you found that you have a car running hot almost all the time? This could be an indication that you have several things wrong with it.
If you don’t mind doing it, you can make the necessary repairs to your car so that it stops running hot on you on a regular basis. But if it’s on the older side, you may also want to consider selling your car rather than making one repair after another.
Cash Cars Buyer will buy your car from you, even if it’s running hot every time you start it up. Regardless of whether you have a bad radiator, a busted water pump, or another problem that is causing your car to run hot, we’ll take it off your hands for you. And we’ll even pick it up from you so that you don’t have to worry about getting it to us yourself!
Contact us today for more information on how to sell a car that is always running hot.