Your vehicle’s cooling system helps keep your engine at a safe operating temperature. Your radiator stores coolant that is calibrated to your model and make of car. When your engine gets too hot, a thermostat opens and allows the coolant to flow through the engine, cooling it down again. Your radiator has an electric fan that spins to blow air across it, cooling off the hot coolant as it is pumped back from the engine. When the system is working, its operation will be transparent to you.

One of the most concerning things that can happen on the road is when the temperature light comes on, indicating that your vehicle’s engine is starting to overheat. What causes car overheating?

You might have the wrong kind of coolant for your model and make of vehicle, perhaps with the wrong mix of water to coolant.


The most common cause for a car overheating is a leak in the coolant system. Leaks can happen anywhere in the coolant system., including the hoses, the radiator, the head gasket, the thermostat housing, or the water pump,

Foreign Matter

Dirt or other foreign matter may have gotten into your hoses, blocking the flow of coolant.

The radiator may have failed. Another common cause of vehicle overheating is a malfunctioning radiator fan.

You may have a bad water pump or a thermostat.

Temperature Light

If the temperature light goes on while you’re on the road, one trick to alleviate an overheating engine is to turn the heat on as high as possible before heading directly to a mechanic’s shop. You might, however, just consider pulling over to the side of the road and calling for a tow to an auto repair facility. In any case, you should not ignore an overheating vehicle lest it damage your engine, causing thousands of dollars in damages.


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