Car Overheating: Common Causes And How To Fix It

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Car Overheating: Common Causes And How To Fix It. Driving your car when it’s overheating can cause serious – and sometimes permanent – damage to your engine, so it’s best to stop driving as soon as possible. Pull over and away from oncoming traffic, then turn off the engine.

Why Do Engines Overheat? Engines can overheat for many reasons. In general, it’s because something’s wrong within the cooling system and heat isn’t able to escape the engine compartment. The source of the issue could include a cooling system leak, faulty radiator fan, broken water pump, or clogged coolant hose.

It very well may be terrifying to observe your temperature check shift from ordinary to red while driving. It is considerably more startling to out of nowhere begin seeing steam emerging from in the engine of your vehicle. At the point when the present circumstance occurs, the most likely clarification is that your vehicle is overheating.

Car overheating is a common problem experienced by most Nigerian drivers. The situation is more frequent with older cars than with newer models. When your car overheats, it could lead to great damage if the right care and action are not taken immediately. Many people are ignorant of the causes of car overheating or even know what to do when this happens. Panicking won’t solve the problem. In this article, we take a look at the common causes of car overheating and simple tips to fix it.

Table of Contents

What Makes A Car Overheating

When a car overheats, it is actually the engine overheating. This happens when the heat generated by the engine is more than the normal operating temperature. Usually, there is a cooling system in a vehicle that serves to maintain its standard operating temperature by circulating coolant or antifreeze through the engine to the radiator.

Car overheating can occur if the engine generates more heat than the cooling system is able to handle. Or if there are faults with one or more components of the cooling system needed to maintain the engine at standard operating temperature.


  1. Leaks in the coolant system

The coolant system needs antifreeze or coolant to do its work. The coolant reservoir tank is not meant to be empty at any point. However, in cases where the tank is empty, it might be caused by leaks. Car owners need to be observant about this. Leaks in the coolant system can be observed by spots or puddles on the ground.

  1. Damaged Water Pump

The water pump is an important component of the coolant system of a car. It serves to circulate the coolant to all parts of the engine. The water pump can become damaged if the coolant is dirty or has lots of buildups that hinder free flow. When this happens, the car can begin to overheat.

  1. Too Little Or No Coolant

Sometimes, drivers are unaware of the coolant levels in their cars. Without the proper levels of coolant, you might be creating problems for the coolant system of your car, and consequently making the engine overheat. Always ensure the coolant level in your car is at the manufacturer’s recommended levels.

In the case of Tesla cars, while they are known for their advanced engineering and efficient cooling systems, occasional overheating can still occur due to various factors. To address this concern, Tesla offers a range of accessories designed to enhance cooling system performance and prevent overheating issues. These accessories may include specialized radiator fans, upgraded coolant pumps, or even advanced thermal management systems. Additionally, Tesla owners can also explore accessories that improve overall vehicle efficiency, such as aerodynamic enhancements or smart charging systems. By utilizing these tesla accessories, owners can not only optimize the cooling system’s capabilities but also enhance the overall performance and longevity of their vehicles.

  1. Thermostat Failure

The thermostat in a car is meant to regulate the engine temperature. Thermostat failure can result in irregularities in the engine temperature thus not allowing the coolant to flow as intended by the car manufacturer.

  1. Damages To The Belts And Hoses

In instances where the belts and hoses connecting the coolant are broken, ruptured or leaking; the flow of the coolant or antifreeze to maintain the normal temperature of the engine is affected.

  1. Issues With The Radiator

The radiator and its fan are crucial in maintaining the engine’s temperature by reducing the coolant temperature. When the fans are damaged, it affects the radiator capacity to reduce heat, this causing car overheating.

  1. Insufficient Engine Oil

Oil helps in lubricating the moving parts of a car, including the engine. Too little leads to friction which can contribute to engine overheating.


  1. Don’t Panic

Yes, we understand the situation might feel scary, especially if this is your first time experiencing vehicle overheating. But, you have to pull yourself together. Steam coming out of your engine doesn’t mean your car is one fire.

  1. Pull Over

Once you notice the usual smell and fumes coming out from the engine compartment of your vehicle, the wisest thing to do is to pull over and assess the situation.

  1. Open All The Windows.

If your AC is on, you will have to put it off at this point. Roll down the window of your car to allow as much heat to flow out as possible.

  1. Turn Off The Engine And Don’t Open The Hood Immediately

Once you have pulled over, it might be risky to open the hood immediately especially if there is steam buildup. This could potentially damage your skin. Turn off the engine and allow the car to rest for a few minutes. After that, you can open the hood.

  1. Call Your Mechanic.

If there are potential damages, you might need to call your mechanic to help you.

  1. Check For Coolant Levels

In most cases, low or too little coolant levels is the cause of overheating. You might need to top up the coolant level to recommended standards.

7.  Regular maintainence

It’s important to remember that prevention is better than cure when it comes to engine overheating. Regular maintenance of your car’s cooling system is crucial to avoid such situations. In addition to that, taking good care of your car’s exterior with quality automotive paint can help prevent rust and corrosion, which can also cause engine issues over time. If you’re looking for a reliable source to shop for automotive paint, check out for a wide selection of high-quality paint products.


Here are basic tips to stop your vehicle from overheating:

  • Observe your vehicle’s coolant levels as often as possible.
  • Keep an extra bottle of new antifreeze and a gallon of water in your trunk always.
  • Keep an eye on your car’s thermostat as you’re driving
  • Refer to the vehicle owner’s manual to stay up-to-date on coolant service flushes

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