Over heating can incur expensive repairs, among which are cracked or blown head gasket and warped cylinders. The head gasket seals coolant passages in the head. When it’s cracked or blown, the antifreeze may go everywhere and wreak havoc on the engine. While a head gasket itself is relatively inexpensive, the labor costs to replace it isn’t. The same goes for warped cylinders, the metal tubes in which your pistons move. Cylinders are the central working parts of the engine. If one of them “dies,” especially in an older car, it can almost be cheaper to replace the whole engine than fixing it. So how do we know when the engine is over heating? There are early signs you will notice before damage is done.
The Temperature Light Or Gauge Will Indicate It
Each car will have a warning light or temperature gauge that will come on to tell you when your engine is heating up. If the warning light comes on, it’s saying that the engine is beyond the operating temperature. If the temperature gauge is over the red or near the top, then that is a sign that there is excessive heat on the engine. The only issue with these devices, is that they sometimes don’t work right because of a coolant leak which causes the sensors to have nothing to read.
The Car Smells Hot
Because the engine is a giant piece of metal with small pieces of plastic, rubber gaskets and seals, and residual motor oil, whenever it is running hot these oils and materials will give off an odor that most people describe as smelling hot. This may happen even if your gauge is not working. The odor can come through the AC vents because the engine is near the fresh air intake of your HVAC system.
Whenever an engine is cold it won’t run efficiently. This is why engines are designed to have a thermostat that stays closed blocking the flow of coolant to the radiator until the engine is able to reach the operating temperature. The issue with this device is whenever it doesn’t open it can cause the coolant to get super-heated inside of the engine. This can cause a thumping noise from your engine whenever you have cold coolant trying to mix with the boiling coolant within your engine. This particular sound is pointing out that your thermostat should be replaced because of a failed sensor within the thermostat.
Your Engine Has A Ticking Sound
Engine oil is used to lubricate and provide thin layers of protection between the moving parts. Whenever this oil gets super-heated, it will lose the ability to provide this layer as the oil weight is so thin that it is similar to water. Once this happens, the clearances in the engine will start to tick which indicates that the lubrication process has failed.
Coolant On The Ground
If there is coolant on the ground under your vehicle after you parked it, then it may be an indication of engine overheating. This could be because either the cooling system has a leak which causes the engine to run hot and overheat or the coolant has boiled inside of the cooling system and has been relieved by the coolant overflow tank.
Steam Is Coming From The Hood
Whenever there is boiling coolant, in the coolant reservoir or being sent out of the radiator cap because of extreme temperatures it will cause steam to be produced from the sides, rear or front of the hood. This is because the coolant is way past the boiling point and is now becoming steam much like water. This is a big sign that the engine is overheating, and it needs to be shut off immediately before any damage happens.
Reduced Engine Power
Whenever an engine is overheating it may cause reduced power because of the pistons expanding within the cylinder bore which will slow down the crankshaft rotation. This will slow down, and it is because of the amount of power that the engine can produce. If you happen to notice that the vehicle is having a hard time keeping up with traffic, look at your temperature gauge or light and then notice if there are any weird smells which can be trying to tell you that there is a temperature problem in the engine.
While the hood of your car is going to hotter than everything else, it shouldn’t be extremely hot to the touch. You should be able to place your hand on the hood for around 10 seconds in a worst-case scenario. If you aren’t able to touch the hood, then your engine is causing excessive heat and it will need to be checked out.
When you suspect an over heating, immediately contact a technician to inspect it. You can chat with us directly on our messenger at the bottom right of your screen. You can schedule an appoint with one of our specialists by following this link: I want my car checked out.