Why Is My Car Overheating?

Overheating Car Engine


If your car is overheating, you should pull over at the first safe opportunity. Don’t touch the hood until you’ve given the vehicle at least 30 minutes to cool down. There are many reasons why a car would overheat, but issues with your coolant or your radiator are the most likely causes.

So, why is your car overheating? Although it’s a good idea to schedule service and let an expert diagnose the issue, we’ve laid out the details on what causes a car to overheat under normal circumstances. No matter what issue you’re facing, we can help you get back on the road in no time.

What Does It Mean When Your Car Overheats?

Your vehicle’s internal combustion engine operates by harnessing the power generated by small explosions, so it’s only natural that your vehicle will heat up as you drive. But what does it mean when your car overheats? It means that the systems that normally cool and protect your engine are malfunctioning.

If your engine is operating above the normal range of 195 to 220 degrees fahrenheit, one of the following causes is likely to blame:

  • A cooling system leak is the most common cause of an overheating engine. The leak could spring from your hoses, your water pump, your coolant tank, or your radiator itself, so closer inspection is needed if you see that your coolant tank has gone dry.
  • Using the wrong coolant could also get you into trouble. If you used a pre-mixed coolant and added more water to your tank by mistake, it won’t be able to perform effectively when you’re out in Painesville or Willoughby.
  • Cooling hose blockages and broken water pumps will both prevent your coolant from reaching the parts of the engine where it is most needed.
  • Radiator issues can be time consuming and expensive to fix, but this isn’t the kind of repair that you can afford to put off. Instead, take advantage of our service financing program and get the help you need today.

In extreme cases, failure to replace your engine oil on schedule may also result in an overheating engine. Check your oil level on a monthly basis to catch leaks before they set you back, and schedule service with our dealership for regular complimentary inspections.

What to Do When a Car Overheats

Regardless of what causes your engine to overheat, the issue can cause irreparable damage to your engine if it causes components to fuse together. So if you’re wondering what to do when a car overheats, the most important thing to know is that you shouldn’t keep driving. Stop the car as soon as possible, and don’t drive it again until the issue is resolved. If you’re planning to open the hood, wait at least 30 minutes to allow the engine to cool down.

If you absolutely have to keep moving—or you don’t want to call a tow to the nearest service center—you may be able to mitigate potential damage by turning your heat on full blast to pull the hot air off of your engine. Adding more coolant can help you manage the next few miles, but if your blockage or leak is significant, this may not be very helpful. In all cases, it’s safest to call a towing service in Mentor or Eastlake.

You Can Count on the Honda of Mentor Service Department!

Whether you’re scheduling regular maintenance or taking care of much-needed repairs, we’ll do everything in our power to help you save. Explore our current service specials and coupons now, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

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