CAR ENGINE OVERHEATING
A car engine generates power from converting chemical energy into mechanical energy which pushes the piston, spins the crankshaft and enables the car to move on the road. Although gasoline engines have improved a lot it may interest you to know that during the combustion process a large percentage of thermal energy is also produced and wasted. Though the hotter the engine becomes the more efficient it gets, they are designed to operate within a certain temperature range (195-220°F), this means at every point in time the temperature should be kept within this range. A proportion of the generated thermal energy goes out of the engine through the exhaust system while the remaining which is soaked up by the engine needs to be taken care of by the engine’s cooling system. The main function of the cooling system is to absorb, transfer and dissipate heat. Anything that interferes with the cooling system’s ability to carry out these functions will lead to ENGINE OVERHEATING. Overheating is a serious issue and can lead to very expensive repairs however the good news is that it can be prevented with proper car maintenance. Possible causes of overheating include low coolant, faulty cooling fan, bad thermostat, clogged radiator, leaking hose, a defective radiator cap, faulty water pump etc. Sometimes even with proper maintenance and preventive measures overheating can still occur, you can tell inside your car from the temperature gauge on your dashboard. If you notice any sudden rise in temperature or a temperature indicator light comes up please see your mechanic immediately but before then the following tips are helpful.
- Switch off your air conditioner.
- Turn on your heater.
- Park your car and turn off the engine.
- When the engine is cool, you can check the coolant level to see if its low as that may be the cause and if it is you can add coolant to the proper reservoir.
- If the temperature still goes high please see your mechanic immediately.
The following should be avoided with an overheating engine
- Never open the radiator cap when the engine is still hot.
- Do not add coolant or water to the radiator while it’s still hot.
- If your coolant is completely gone from a serious leak do not drive the car.
- Do not force the car to start after you pull over.
So the next time your temperature gauge unusually goes higher than normal or a temperature warning light comes up in your car, it should not be ignored , the cause should be traced immediately and repaired as this may save you from more expensive repairs, give your engine better performance and also save your fuel.