Poorly functioning fans and fan belts, low coolant levels and a dry engine can cause a car to overheat. Drivers can reverse some causes, whereas others are best left to a professional.
Symptoms of overheating can include white smoke or steam coming from the engine area of a car, hissing from the radiator, and engine failure. Leaking hoses, low coolant levels and a burnt rubber smell can also indicate overheating.
To add coolant to a car, open the hood, and remove the cap on the white plastic tank that is next to the radiator. Add a 1:1 mixture of coolant and water up to the full mark, and replace the cap.
The buildup of pressure caused by adding too much coolant to a car can cause the rupturing of hoses, internal pipes and even the radiator. When coolant is added to a car, it is cold, however, while the engine is running, the liquid starts to expand, causing a buildup of pressure. If the radiator is
Some different types of car coolants are green, orange and red. The most common is the traditional green coolant, which is ethylene glycol with borates, silicates and phosphates to inhibit corrosion. Some non-green coolants have different active chemicals, whereas others are just green coolants that
The most common risk associated with running a car engine with low coolant is of overheating, which can rapidly cause breakdowns in any engine part. In the winter, coolant also acts as antifreeze. Too low a concentration of the active ingredient, ethylene glycol, allows the water in the radiator to
Some causes of car coolant loss are cracks, splits, corrosion and other forms of damage to the radiator, water pump, reservoir, heater and engine block cores. Many coolant leaks occur in the plugs, hoses, clamps and connectors to these parts.
A "low coolant" warning on a vehicle usually means that the vehicle is low on the cooling fluid inside the systems that prevent overheating of the engine. The coolant level can be verified by checking the coolant backup tank under the hood once the engine is cool.
If too much coolant is put into the cooling system of a car, the extra fluid flows out of the overflow pipe. Coolant and antifreeze, as well as many other car fluids, are highly toxic and can be harmful to children and pets.
Using water instead of coolant in a car's cooling system can be done but should only be considered in an emergency and only for a short amount of time. According to ErictheCarGuy.com, water corrodes the engine quicker than coolant and has a lower boiling point (making it much less effective).