Monday, February 18, 2013

Temperature is Rising: Car Overheating in Winter

Overheating does not only happen in the summertime. The cold temperatures of winter offer
no barriers from or protection from the rising temperature of the engine. Many people are
surprised to learn that cars can overheat in the winter as well. Unfortunately, some of these
people learn this lesson from being stranded on the side of the road. They assume that since
the weather is near zero, the cold air temperature should be enough to keep the engine cool,
but this is very far from the truth. Your car can overheat even in below-zero weather if you
do not maintain your car or pay attention to the warning signs. You should know what to do
to keep this from happening to your car.

Before the Blowout

If your car is overheating in the winter, consider what is occurring right before the car gets
too hot. If you notice that your car overheats soon after you turn it on, you could have a very
low coolant level, a malfunctioning thermostat, a broken fan, or a leak in the cooling
system. These same problems can produce overheating after driving for long periods, but
instead of a faulty thermostat, your ignition timing could have the wrong settings, or the
engine could have other mechanical problems. Take your car to ASE master technicians to
determine the cause of the overheating and remedy the problem.

Antifreeze and Fluid Checks Are Essential

Check your antifreeze or coolant level to make sure you have the proper amount in the
reservoir. Coolants are very important to the engine because it transfers heat from the center
of the engine out to the outside air. The cooling system is closed, which means that it is not
designed for the car owner to have access for refilling. If there is a hole anywhere in this
closed system, your coolant level will be too low and your car will overheat. Check the
radiator for any rust and corrosion, which can cause holes and other damaging things. The
thermostat and radiator pressure cap need to be checked to make sure they are securely
seated in place to provide an adequate seal. Do not remove the radiator cap when the engine
is still hot. The boiling coolant inside the radiator has created a pressurized environment and
opening the cap can cause an explosion. Make sure your thermostat and engine fan are
working properly.

Overheat No More

Make an effort to be proactive when it comes to general car maintenance. Be sure to adhere
to the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer. Use the information you
learn about your car during these sessions to keep track of the health of your car. If you pay
close attention and heed the warning signs of potential overheating, you can make the
changes you need to make to keep your car in good running condition. If you have a
mechanic to perform these tasks, make sure that you understand everything that they relay
to you concerning your car. They can take the information from the inspections and make
recommendations on how to improve the health of your car. Keeping a log of all repairs,
maintenance dates, and performance notations will work together to help you keep a cool

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