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Vehicle overheating inspection
Is It Important To Avoid An Overheated Vehicle?
Any vehicle, even the very newest of hi-tech vehicles, can overheat.
And if that vehicle is powered by an internal combustion engine, then there are a whole host of reasons – from mechanical to electrical – why things might be warming up.
When this does happen, it is important that you don’t ignore the symptoms.
Leave it too long and things can get very serious, very quickly, resulting in an awful lot of expensive repair work or worse, damage that is irreversible.
How Does The Cooling System Work?
An engine produces a lot of heat and to compensate for that, vehicles have systems that circulate a coolant through the engine that absorbs that heat.
This liquid – a mixture of water and chemicals designed to raise its boiling point and lower its freezing point – is pumped through the system and cooled once it reaches the radiator.
From there, its journey through the system starts again.
The cooling system designed to deliver this coolant consists of a number of components.
There’s the radiator and cooling fan, which chills the coolant via airflow; hoses which move the coolant from one component to another; the water pump, a belt-driven or electric powered pump that pushes the coolant through the engine; and the thermostat that controls the temperature of the coolant flowing through the system.
Symptoms That The Engine Is Overheating
There are some pretty obvious signs to look out for when your car is overheating.
1: Temperature gauge: Your car will have a warning light that will illuminate when the engine has passed beyond a reasonable operating temperature.
2: Coolant leak: If you spot coolant on the ground under your car, that’s a sure sign of a problem.
The likely problem here is a loose hose connection, or a cracked or otherwise damaged hose.
3: Steam from under the bonnet: An obvious sign of a problem, steam means that the coolant is passing its boiling point.
This could be because of a faulty water pump not moving the coolant through the system fast enough, or a damaged radiator or cooling fan.
How Is A Coolant System Inspection Performed?
- Coolant level will be checked, and the technician will also check that the correct coolant is being used.
- Belts and hoses will be inspected for wear and tear, cracks and proper tension and secure connections
- Radiator will be checked for leaks and signs of corrosion and clogging.
- Radiator Cap will be visually inspected and may be pressure tested.
- Water Pump will be checked to make sure its pulley is properly aligned, and hose fittings are sealed.
- Finding a cooling system leak may also require testing beyond these checks.
This may mean pressure testing or even dye testing – in which a dye is introduced to the coolant to highlight where the leak might be.
Why Is It Important To Have Coolant Checked?
An overheating engine can cause all manner of problems, with some of them being very serious and very expensive to repair.
Any sign of overheating should be taken seriously, and you should aim to get your vehicle to a mechanic on AutoGuru as soon as possible.