Why Is My Car Overheating? And What Can I Do About It?

Why is my car overheating? And What Can I Do About It?

Why is your car overheating regularly?

Many reasons cause a car’s engine to overheat. However, most of the time, the culprit is always the vehicle’s cooling system. When the heat is unable to escape from the engine, it causes the whole system to overheat and shut down. 


Another problem source for overheating can be a leak in the cooling system, broken water pump, faulty radiator fan, or clogged coolant hose. But no matter the source of the problem, engine overheating is not a minor issue and should be looked into ASAP. If not checked, an overheated engine can cause severe damage to the vehicle, resulting in expensive repairs. 


Car overheating causes

Here are some causes of overheating that car owners should look out for:


  • Water pump failure 

The pump isn’t working at its total capacity to circulate the coolant. Hence it’s unable to remove excess heat from the inside. 


  • Stuck thermometer 

The thermostat is responsible for regulating the engine temperature, but a low-cost thermostat can get stuck and cause the vehicle to overheat.  


  • Blown head gasket 

A gasket is found between the engine block and cylinder head and helps to keep the oil and coolant from mixing. But if the gasket is damaged, it can interfere with the cooling process. 


  • Radiator blockage 

If there is a blockage in the radiator, the anti-freeze won’t flow freely, making it impossible for heat to disperse.


  • Low coolant level 

If the coolant is leaking, there will be less to go around the engine and will cause overheating. 


What to do if the car is overheating?

Every car owner should know these signs that indicate overheating of the engine, such as steam rising from under the hood, temperature gauge showing an increase in temperature, or a strange smell coming from the car. As soon as you notice these signs take the steps mentioned below:


Kill the AC and switch on the heat

Turning off your AC will help reduce the stress on the car’s engine, and turning on the heater will pull the heat away from the engine. This will provide you with some time so you can pull over to a safe place before the vehicle overheats.  


Pull the car over 

The best thing you can do for an overheated engine is to let it cool down. So as soon as you notice that the engine is heating up, pull over to a safe location and let the car rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, plan your next steps and call a tow truck or roadside assistance service. After rest, the temperature gauge should return to the normal level. 


Check coolant level

Sometimes the fix for overheating engine can be as simple as topping it off with more coolant. But this method can not help you if there is some problem with the coolant hose or radiator fan.


Restart the engine

If towing option is not available to you, then another option is to restart the engine after cooling down and go to the nearest repair shop. During the drive, keep an eye on the temperature gauge. And if the temperature rises again, pull over the vehicle and let it rest for a little longer before continuing to drive.  


By following these steps, you can prevent any significant damages from happening to the engine. 


What if my car smells hot but not overheating?

If you smell something burning in the car, but the temperature gauge shows a normal reading, this can mean many things. It can be as simple as a plastic bag stuck to your engine causes the smell, or it can be a sign of a major problem such as burning wires or seized brake callipers. 


If you experience strange burning smells coming from your car, the best step is to take the car to a repair shop and get it checked. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your car’s health. 


Car overheating repair cost

The cost of the repairs depends on the extent of the damage. If you get the vehicle checked after seeing early warning signs, you would have to pay less for the repairs, but if you see coolant on the ground and steam rising from the car, then it means you are too late, and expensive repairs are waiting for you. 


You can do minor repairs such as thermostat replacement, heater hose replacements, or anti-freeze flushes within $300. But major repairs such as water pump replacements, extensive engine work, or gasket replacements can cost you anywhere from $600 to $1800. And if you own a specialty engine, then your bill can reach up to $5000.


If your car has suffered engine damage because of overheating and you don’t want to deal with expensive repairs, we have a solution for you. SpeedyCashForCars is a trusted car buyer based in QLD. Their processes are easy and quick; all you need to do is fill out the quote form, and they will help you sell your car at maximum cash within 24 hours.  




As the old saying goes, if you take care of your car, it will care for you. So, the best way to prevent any future overheating problems is to get your engine checked regularly. Routine car inspection can help you fix any potential engine problems and keep your vehicle running without any troubles.