Three Reasons Why Your Car Is Overheating Even Though it’s Winter

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While the outside air keeps your vehicle’s engine cooler, it won’t prevent the engine from overheating if you have a cooling system or engine problems. Oftentimes, winter weather reveals engine problems because your car, truck, or utility vehicle will run too hot despite cold air outside. Padron Automotive can get to the bottom of why your engine is overheating in the winter. Here are three possibilities.

1. Air Blockage

To understand better how outside air affects your vehicle’s engine, let’s talk about air and the cooling system. The engine’s thermostat releases coolant once the engine starts to get too hot, and the water pump pushes that coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs engine heat and then returns to the radiator, where it is cooled down by the radiator fan and outside air. If the radiator vent is clogged, the coolant’s temperature will not be reduced by outside air, and the engine will overheat. Leaks in radiator lines can also introduce air into the coolant, which will make your engine overheat.

2. Exhaust System Trouble

Your vehicle has a combustion engine, and this engine type produces a lot of heat. This heat helps start and run your automobile, but excess heat can build up inside the engine and increase its temperature past its threshold. The cooling system handles some of the engine’s excess heat, and the exhaust system takes care of the rest, along with your motor and transmission oils. If you have an exhaust system problem, such as a cracked exhaust manifold gasket or exhaust system leaks, your engine will overheat no matter how cold or hot it is outside because the hot exhaust is trapped inside the motor.

3. Thermostat Problems

Finally, a failing or dead thermostat will not release engine coolant once the engine gets too hot and, you guessed it, your car, truck, or C/SUV will overheat. The average lifespan of a vehicle’s thermostat is 10 years, so if you drive a new car, the overheating problem is likely due to something else. This being said, a faulty thermostat will die prematurely. If the engine is not getting the coolant it needs, it cannot maintain a temperature below 220 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest a vehicle’s engine should get. This will make your automobile overheat even in temperatures below freezing.

Call Padron Automotive if your vehicle keeps overheating. We’ll get to the bottom of the issue and fix it in our Topeka, KS, auto service shop, so your vehicle keeps its cool no matter the outdoor temperature.

Photo by miodrag ignjatovic from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro