What Causes Engine Overheating and How to Prevent It

The temperature gauge is in the red zone. The engine warning lights won’t go off. And there’s steam coming from your hood. Uh-oh, those things tell you that you are now experiencing one of the most dreaded car troubles – OVERHEATING. It’s said to be the engine’s enemy; when your car temperature climbs to a point where mechanical damage can occur. If this is not immediately and properly addressed, your car’s engine might be in need of a total overhaul. Because we are one of Melbourne’s leading used car buyers and junk car wreckers, we ought to help you successfully avoid this situation. In order to effectively prevent this from happening, one thing is certain: we need to arm ourselves first with proper knowledge about engine overheating.


What causes it?

In general, if the engine is overheating, there could be a problem with the cooling system. It consists of parts such as the water pump, thermostat, radiator, heater core, and coolant hoses. If one of these are broken or worn, that may cause your car to overheat. Even if almost everything stems from lack of cooling circulation, we still have to understand the specific reasons why car engines overheat:

  • Your coolant level is too low or there might be a coolant leak. When there is a leak, or there’s too much space in the coolant container, air eventually gets sucked in and circulated. Once it rises to the top of your cooling system, an airlock happens, and your engine starts heating up.
  • The radiator fan isn’t supplying enough air for your engine. When this happens, replacing it might be too complex for you to DIY. Make sure to get help from your trusty mechanic if you need to immediately replace your radiator fan.
  • There’s a cooling system blockage. The coolant can’t seem to circulate to your radiator maybe because: the thermostat doesn’t open like it should; there are mineral deposits in your radiator; or there’s a foreign object in your cooling system.
  • There’s water pump failure. Your water pump has a bearing or impeller that turns constantly. Once it breaks or gets worn, it’ll make your engine heat up in an instant.
  • There might be problems with the important belts and chains in the engine. Usually the timing belt and serpentine belt makes annoying squeaking sounds if they are already worn. If you don’t replace them on time and keep using them even if they’re torn or broken, they’ll eventually cause an overheated engine.
  • At the very least, your oil levels shouldn’t be the cause of an overheated engine. It’s a no brainer that if there’s less or no oil, there’s more friction in the engine. But there really are drivers or owners who neglect maintaining proper oil levels and so they eventually make their car engines overheat.


How do I prevent it from happening?

Now that you are aware of the things that may cause your car engine to overheat, it’s a lot easier to know what you can do to prevent it. Well, in a nutshell, proper maintenance and regular inspection are always keys to avoid serious car troubles. But in order to make clear of the things you should do to prevent engine overheating, keep these handy tips in mind:

  • Check if your radiator cap is in good condition and see if your radiator has debris.
  • Always keep an eye on your temperature gauge. Address it immediately to prevent it from going to the red area.
  • It’s always handy to keep 1 gallon of extra coolant and 1 gallon of distilled water in your trunk.
  • Check for leaks under your car.
  • Top off your coolant regularly.
  • Inspect timing and serpentine belts religiously.
  • Always have your whole cooling system checked by a professional mechanic.


Engine overheating, like other car troubles, can happen at the worst possible time. Fortunately, we can better equip ourselves in order to effectively avoid that situation. And as with any other vehicle maintenance job, you just have to take the time to understand it and put in a little effort. So that even if it’s scorching hot in those summer days, you will never have to deal with an overheating engine.


Do you have a car that seems to overheat and break down almost every time you get it on the road? Maybe it’s about time that you let it go. We are a trusted and reputable car removal company in Melbourne for more than two decades now. We’ll be happy to take that inefficient and unsafe junk vehicle off your hands and pay you top cash for it. Call us now at 0438 942 754.