Fairfax Auto Repair

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Why is My Car Overheating?

There is nothing worse than the thought of your car overheating and stranding you on the side of the road.

Through regular maintenance and inspections, you should be able to avoid many of the most common causes of this problem.

Here are five reasons why cars overheat:

1. Low coolant. Above all else, this is the number one culprit of engine overheating. If you don’t have enough coolant in the radiator, no matter the reason, your engine is going to overheat and shutdown.

2. Cooling fan failure. If your electric cooling fan neglects to come on, your engine will overheat sooner rather than later.

Note: an electric cooling fan may malfunction as it gets older, so make sure you have this inspected by your mechanic from time to time.

3. Thermostat not opening. The faster your vehicle is moving the more coolant your engine requires. If the thermostat fails to open, there will not be enough flow to keep your engine cool. Overheating is the likely result.

Tip: by slowing down your problem may improve, giving you enough time to make it to safety.

4. Broken fan belt. If you have a vehicle with a fan belt that drives the cooling fan, it could malfunction at some point. The only good news about this is that a fan belt is typically easier and cheaper to replace than its electric counterpart.

5. Clogged radiator. Over time, your car’s radiator may begin to clog. If you flush your radiator once a year, you can avoid this common cause of an overheated engine.

If your car’s engine has overheated and you are looking to get back on the road as soon as possible, contact us to schedule a service appointment. We can diagnose your problem, provide a solution, and send you on your way.