What Makes Your Car Overheat in Dubai?
Dubai’s location on the globe makes it hot around the year. With such hot weather, it is possible that a person’s car overheats one time or the other. Imagine going on a road trip and then having to stop in the middle of nowhere to let the vehicle’s engine cool down.
The heat can be catastrophic for the car’s engine, and the damage caused by it can cause engine failure if not checked in time.
An engine requires a specific temperature range to operate efficiently. The temperature, which does seem hot enough for a human to handle, is still tremendously cooler than the engine would be without a cooling system. Overheating is caused when the engine’s temperature reaches a point where there is a possibility of mechanical damage. Usually, a sustained 115°C is a dangerous notion of causing concern. Some warning signs are engine warning light shaped like a thermometer, steam coming from the engine area and a temperature gauge spiking to the red zone.
Does a car have a cooling system?
Every car engine has its cooling system, no matter how expensive or cheap a car is. Earlier, the car’s used to have air cooling system. Since the engine was simple and not too powerful, the exposure to the air going around it helped cool them. But the engine became additionally powerful and sophisticated, the need to build a better system was realized because of increased frequency of overheating. Out of this need, a system that involved cooling by a liquid came into existence.
Liquid cooling systems are a part of the design and development of engines these days. Every vehicle produced now is provided with a coolant(known as antifreeze). The coolant is circulated by the cooling system throughout the engine and then from a radiator for dissipating the heat.
How does the system work?
There are multiple parts within a cooling system. These parts are the thermostat, water pump, heater core, radiator, engine and the coolant hoses. The working of these parts is as follows.
- To circulate the coolant, the water pump is provided with an impeller. With an appearance like that of a windmill or a fan, the impeller is turned by a serpentine belt, also known as the timing belt.
- Flowing through the engine’s coolant jacket, the coolant absorbs heat and carries it out of the engine and withing the heater core. The coolant jacket can be summed up like a labyrinth of channels within the engine block.
- A heater core serves dual purposes; it is used within the engine cooling system and also provides cooling for the vehicle’s interior. By controlling a valve, the amount of hot coolant passing through the car to warm the air inside can be regulated. The coolant is then passed onto the radiator.
- Finally, a radiator is made of a long tube bent into shorter coils. To reduce the coolant’s temperature, the air passes through the coils, thus, bringing down the temperature of the coolant. After this, the coolant is taken to a water pump to repeat the cooling cycle.
Why does engine overheat?
There are several reasons behind an engine overheating. Most of these result from lack of circulation, but the undermining cause can be different.
- Leaks in the Cooling system – The engine isn’t directly overheated by any leak in the car’s cooling system. The primary reason is the entrance of the air within the cooling system. Due to a leak, the car’s coolant level decreases and the air is sucked in through and circulated. Since the air is lighter than the coolant, it rises to the top of the cooling system, causing an airlock.
An airlock is a condition where a large bubble can’t be pushed through the car’s cooling system. This arrest of coolant causes cooling system failure by lack of circulating leading to the coolant inside the engine getting superheated,
- Blockage – Another indirect cause is the blockage in the car’s cooling system. When there is a blockage, the cooling system is blocked leading to disruption of the heat dispersal process. Some common obstructions are:
- Presence of a foreign object inside the car’s cooling system.
- Thermostat not opening when it should have.
- Blockage of the radiator by a mineral deposit.
- Failure in water pump – A failed water pump is usually a regular reason for the overheating. Since the water pump is an active component of the cooling system, and hence, responsible for the maintenance of the cooling system, any issues in it are sure to cause trouble. With usage, the impeller or bearing in the water pump can suffer from wear and tear, leading to impeller not turning. When and if this happens, an engine overheat tends to follow.
- The coolant’s concentration is low – This is most prevalent in cold weather when temperatures drop below the freezing point. The car’s coolant gels up within the engine or radiator and causes blockages. This coagulation will lead to the non circulation of the antifreeze and even require radiator repair.
The importance of engine oil apart from its regular use is that it also helps in the cooling process. Engine oil is a lubrication that lubricates engine parts for preventing friction, saving excessive engine heat from happening.
Most manufacturers have been incorporating the engine oil cooler inside the vehicles that operates as a radiator. The hot oil is then circulated to the oil cooler which dissipates heat before returning it to the engine. This leads to about forty percent of cooling by the engine oil.
Common repairs needed for correcting overheating
- Replacement of water pump
- Repair or replacement of the radiator
- Changing the antifreeze by flushing previous antifreeze
- Replacement of the Thermostat
- Top-up or change of the engine oil
- Replacement of the Coolant hose
How to prevent overheating from happening
There are multiple ways for prevention from overheating.
- Use the manufacturer’s recommended interval for having the cooling system flushed. Have the cooling system flushed if it is dirty too.
- Contact a mechanic for repairing any coolant leaks when noticed.
- Get the car’s engine oil changed regularly.
- Make sure to monitor the car’s temperature gauge on your dash.