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What Can Cause a Car to Overheat?

Based on 9 Reviews
Updated October 19, 2023

Your car overheating is a bigger deal than you may think. If you notice the temperature gauge in your car come up with a large red “H,” it’s time to stop the car and do something about it.

Here are some of the top reasons your car could be overheating, and what you can do to help. 

What Can Cause a Car to Overheat? The Top Reasons 

Knowing what is wrong with your overheated car could save you thousands of dollars in damage, or even the car itself if you are able to stop it and give it what it needs. Here are some reasons it could be overheating. 

Cooling System Leaks

So, what can cause a car to overheat? One thing is a leak in your cooling system. It is actually the number one reason for overheating, and it includes leaks in any hoses, the water pump, head gasket, freeze plugs, heater core, and thermostat housing. 

If you think you may have a leak, or if you’ve added coolant to the reservoir recently, get it checked as soon as possible. 

Bad Thermostat

A bad thermostat could also cause overheating issues in your car as well. The thermostat allows coolant to pass through the radiator when needed, so if it’s stuck in the closed position, nothing can pass through and the car overheats. 

Again, if you think this may be the issue, get your car checked out as soon as you can. 

Bad Radiator 

Certain clogging and leaking issues can lead to a failing radiator. Any disturbance in its function can potentially lead to overheating since the radiator isn’t able to pull heat away from the rest of the cooling system. 

Broken Radiator Fan

The radiator fan works hard to reduce the temperature of the coolant, however, if the motor is broken or the fan clutch is worn out, it can’t do its job properly. 

Loose/Broken Belts

Any loose or broken belts, but especially the water pump belt, is going to cause an overheating issue in your car. If the water pump belt isn’t able to work efficiently, then it cannot maintain the correct amount of coolant flow. 

Water Pump Issues

Last but certainly not least, we have water pump issues in general. If you are wondering what can cause a car to overheat and cause the most damage, this is definitely high on the list. 

The water pump in your car is the main, most essential part of your cooling system. If it’s not working as it should be, your car won’t have enough pressure to move engine coolant throughout the cooling system. Whether the issue is from leaks, erosion, or anything else, it needs to be confronted immediately. 

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Worst-Case Scenarios with What Can Cause a Car to Overheat 

So, what is the worst-case scenario with what can cause the car to overheat? 

If the issue is bad enough, it could even cause your engine to fail. Meaning that it will potentially cause you thousands of dollars to get fixed. For a scenario like this, your car may not be worth fixing, depending on its value to begin with. 

For those of you that find yourself in this situation, especially with a car that isn’t worth fixing, you may want to consider a junk car pick up for some extra cash. By doing this, you can get a little extra money out of a car that isn’t of any use to you, and you’ll be able to get one without the same issues.

If you find yourself Googling “cash for cars near me,” and don’t know where to go for reputable services, look no further than US Junk Cars! We have an office locator so you can find a convenient location, we can schedule a junk car pick up for you, and then you get paid in cash instantly once we arrive. Check out our service areas to get started. 

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