Overheated Engine: Warning Signs, Engine Damage, and Repair Costs

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Posted on July 28, 2022 by Rick Griffith

When you first begin driving, you are taught to look for the signs of an overheated engine. That also depends upon when you learned to drive, though, because the symptoms of an overheated engine have changed significantly in the last twenty years.

Although there are many reasons an engine can overheat, the most common cause is a coolant leak. But some other reasons include:

  • Faulty radiator fan
  • Broken water pump
  • Clogged coolant hose
  • Low oil levels
  • Bad thermostat

Despite the many reasons your car might be overheating, it’s essential to know the warning signs while driving your vehicle.

Warning Signs Your Car’s Engine is Overheating

With temperatures these past few weeks reaching into the triple digits, you’ve probably noticed a lot of cars stopped along the roadway. In truth, there could be any number of reasons these vehicles are pulled off the road. But outside temperatures can wreak havoc on a car’s engine, parts, fluids, and electrical systems.

Some of the most common warning signs an engine is overheating come from your dashboard while seated behind the wheel of your car. Most vehicles today have a temperature gauge that can be quickly glanced at to determine if the engine is overheating.

Many cars today also have early warning lights that an onboard computer will trigger to alert you of an engine problem. Some less obvious signs include engine knocking and visual cues of steam bellowing from beneath the hood.

Engine Damage from an Overheated Engine

Suppose you’ve never experienced an overheated engine. In that case, it can be alarming, and if immediate action is not taken, your car’s engine may sustain severe damage.

Engine performance is lost because cylinder heads are generally made from aluminum and warp much faster than iron. The worst-case scenario for an engine to continue to overheat is the engine block can crack. 

If that happens, there isn’t much you can do other than replace the engine in the car or buy a new car. Unfortunately, once an engine block cracks, the problems only increase. For instance, seals and gaskets will no longer seat appropriately in a warped engine, which can result in significant fluid leaks, like oil, coolant, and transmission fluid.

Repair Costs Associated With an Overheated Engine

Depending upon your response time to your engine overheating, it can mean the difference between $100 to $6,000. With repair costs gaps that big, you can see why it’s essential to watch your engine temperature at all times.

The repair cost can also be associated with your engine’s faulty part. For example, if you have a faulty coolant cap, that can be a relatively inexpensive part to replace. But if you have a coolant leak, well, jumping the cost of your repairs several hundred dollars.

Where to Turn in Case of Emergency

Although unexpected events happen in life, there is a solution, the team at Car Credit. As a Buy Here Pay Here dealership for the four states region of southwest Missouri, Car Credit has a wide selection of sedans and SUVs to choose from in inventory. To get started, apply online today! 

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