Why Do Engines Overheat?
Overheating, in the case of engines happen when it becomes too hot and the cooling system no longer absorbs, transports and dissipates the heat coming from the engine. Usually when this happens, the car stops and emits a smoke of steam.
The basic law of nature teaches us that heat will always flow upwards towards higher temperature then downwards towards lesser temperature and not vice versa. With this in mind, the only way to keep it cool is through constant contact with a cooler material or liquid. And the only way to keep it steady is to maintain the coolant in continuous circulation. From the moment this circulation stops, the temperature will rise resulting in the engine overheating.
So how does the coolant keep the engine in stable temperature? The coolant has to make sure to get of all the heat it soaks up while it passes through the block and heads. This is where the radiator comes in. The radiator, with the help of the cooling fan must be efficient enough to do its job of letting the air flow freely circulating. Any blockage in the radiator can cause the engine to overheat. The thermostat also plays an important role of keeping the engine’s average temperature in normal range thus preventing the engine from overheating. Any blockage in the thermostat will also cause engine overheating.
There are many reasons behind an engine overheating such as a low coolant level, a leak in the coolant, accumulated deposits in the water jacket may cause poor heat conductivity inside the engine, malfunctioning thermostat, inadequate airflow within the radiator, fan not working, slipping fan clutch, defective radiator cap, collapsing lower radiator hose and worn water pump impeller. In cases of overheating, it best to carefully assess the situation to find out which part caused the engine overheating.
In conclusion, there are many factors that can cause an engine to overheat. The best way to prevent overheating is to keep your engine in good shape.