Common Reasons a Car May Overheat - Toyota Service Information To Know in Salem, OR

May 9, 2019

An engine that's running hot is not something that should be ignored. The heat that's generated by combustion is so intense that it can melt and warp the engine block itself, causing massive damage. If the engine in your Toyota is beginning to overheat, the most important thing to do is pull over and turn off the engine as soon as it's safe to do so. Then, be sure to have your vehicle towed to an authorized Toyota service center.

Generally, an overheating engine means that there's something wrong with the cooling system. After all, this system is designed to move excess heat away from the engine. Below are five major problems that can develop within this system.

Steam rising from the radiator of an overheating vehicle.

5. A Malfunctioning Thermostat

The thermostat keeps the coolant from entering the engine until the engine has warmed up. This means your car can reach operating temperature faster. However, if the thermostat is broken, it may not open and let the coolant flow in when it needs to.

A hand holding a vehicle's water pump.

4. A Damaged Water Pump

Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze (which keeps the water from freezing in low temperatures). So, a water pump is what pumps the coolant through the engine, where it absorbs the extra heat. A problem with the water pump means that the coolant's flow may be impaired--or it may not flow at all.

3. Low or Contaminated Coolant

Of course, even if the water pump works, it won't do much good if there's something wrong with the coolant itself. If there's not enough in the system, it will be inadequate to cool the engine. And if the coolant has contaminants, it won't work as effectively, and may not absorb as much heat.

A car's radiator showing possible damage.

2. Bad Hoses

The hoses are what the coolant moves through as it goes between the engine and the radiator. Damaged, cracked, loose, or clogged hoses may cause the coolant to leak, or they may simply impede the flow of coolant.

1. Damaged Radiator

The radiator itself is where the coolant goes to get its cool back. So if the radiator has suffered damage, the coolant may stay too warm. There are many things that could go wrong with a radiator. For example, the radiator fan could have burned out, or the radiator itself may have sustained physical damage from an accident. Though radiators can sometimes be repaired, it's usually a good idea to have them replaced.

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  1. Capitol Toyota

    783 Auto Group Avenue
    Salem, OR 97301

    • Sales: (888) 459-7024

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Capitol Toyota

783 Auto Group Avenue Ne
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-399-1011
  • Service: 503-399-1011
  • Parts: 503-399-1011