Why Your Car Overheats During Traffic

In cities or places like Lagos or Nairobi or Kampala where traffic congestion is quite high, you are likely to see someone’s car or vehicle overheating. You are likely to see white steam coming from the bonnet.

What could be the cause?

When an engine is overheating every time, it is that the cooling system is malfunctioning (i.e., when the coolant doesn’t absorb, transport, and dissipate heat effectively). Diagnosing the reason why your cooling system is on the fritz is more complex but with our dongles, you can do that, but there are several common reasons for an overheating engine:

  1. Low coolant: Your engine relies on coolant to dissipate heat. If there is not enough coolant running through the system ­­due to leaks, ruptured hoses, loose hose, whenever heat build-up, your engine will overheat.

So check the coolant level regularly, make sure the ratio of water to antifreeze is correct and have it changed every year. If the coolant is low, do not just top it off and forget about it. The cooling system was sealed and the coolant had to go somewhere. It may have leaked outside the engine and you just can’t see it yet or it has leaked inside the engine where you normally would not see it, but it had to go somewhere.

2. Faulty cooling fan: The cooling fan draws air from your radiator when your car isn’t going fast enough to ram it through on its own, such as in slow-moving traffic.

A simple way to diagnose whether there is a problem with your fan is to let your car stay idle for some time to let it heat up. Then, look under the hood to see if the fan is working or running. If it’s not, call a mechanic immediately.

3. Faulty thermostat: If your car regularly overheats at highway speeds, have the thermostat checked by a mechanic. When driving on highways, your car is moving at high speeds. During this, your engine is doing a lot of work and needs a lot of help to keep from losing its cool.

If the thermostat is not opening, not enough coolant will flow through the engine to keep it cool.

4. Blocked coolant passageways: Your car’s radiator and cooling system need to be clean at all times to be cool. Little by little your car’s radiator builds solid deposits that can clog it and prevent the coolant from circulating properly. To prevent this, an inexpensive radiator flush at least once a year is needed.

Regular monthly routine maintenance and checkup with a diagnose system is advisable, then keep clean oil in your engine and keep the engine cool, and it will enjoy a very long life of service.

With fixbot, you’ll get predictive updates and also information that helps you take better care of your car.

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