If your car has started to overheat while you drive it, then it is vital that you determine the root cause of the problem. Engines that get too hot are susceptible to seizing and if this happens, then you will need to replace the motor in your car!
Here are some tips to help you discover why your vehicle started overheating:
Replace the Radiator Cap
While the radiator cap on your vehicle looks very simple, it has a very special design and function. The radiator cap is spring loaded and is designed to open and close as your vehicle gets too hot. If the radiator cap is faulty, then your vehicle will overheat.
Since radiator caps are very inexpensive, it makes sense to replace the cap and see if your vehicle continues to overheat. Many times, the radiator cap is the only problem.
Check for Debris Around the Radiator
The radiator in your vehicle relies on the outside air to cool its fluid as you drive down the road. Especially if you live in a rural area or drive down a lot of dirt roads, the radiator coils can get leaves and weeds stuck against them. To determine if this is the problem, take a look around the outside of the radiator and clear any material you find. If there are a lot of dead bugs, then you can use an air compressor and blow them off.
Feel the Radiator Hoses for Pressure
If you have replaced the radiator's cap and cleared any debris around it, and your vehicle is still overheating, then you should turn on the car and feel both large radiator hoses. As the car heats up, both hoses should build up pressure in them. If the hoses do not become very hard with pressure, then there is likely a clog within the radiator that is preventing a good flow of coolant. If this is the case, then your radiator will need to be serviced or replaced at a local mechanic's shop.
Finally, if nothing else seems to be amiss, then the thermostat that opens to cool your motor may be either stuck closed or faulty. Because the thermostat is located within the cooling system, you will need to have a mechanic replace it for you. This is a fairly simple job, but it requires removing many parts in order to reach the thermostat's location.
To learn more, contact an automotive service company like Scotty's Automotive Center.