Warning Signs That Your Engine is Overheating

Chantilly, VA is coming into the warmer months now, and that means an increase in the potential for an overheated engine. While it might be easy to think of your vehicle as an invincible machine, you must be vigilant and aware of the different warning signs of potential or existing vehicle issues. The ability to notice these signs is extremely important as an overheating engine can cost you thousands of dollars if action is not taken in a timely matter. If not attended to, an engine that’s under extreme heat can cause pistons to warp and possibly weld themselves to the engine block. While this paints a scary image, it can be easily avoided with regular automotive maintenance and repairs performed by trusted professionals.

At Casey’s Automotive, our technicians care about keeping you safe as well as your vehicle’s longevity. As the best auto repair shop in Chantilly, VA, we specialize in quality automotive repairs, and we’ve gathered several maintenance tips and warning signs to help you prevent a possible catastrophe.

1. Hot Hood

While your vehicle is running, you should be able to comfortably keep your hand of the hood for about 10 seconds without getting burned. However, the hood of your vehicle being warm to the touch is one thing, and if it becomes extremely hot, it could be a serious cause for concern.

2. Strange Smells

An unusual smell coming for your engine is never a good sign. When an engine heats up enough, it starts to burn oil. As the temperature increases, parts such as plastic valves and rubber seals can start to melt, and those melting parts will begin to release an unusual scent. Many people describe this distinct aroma as something “hot” or “burning.” Regardless of the scent you smell, be sure to check all the gauges for any irregularities on a regular basis.  

3. Temperature Gauge

Within the gauges on your dashboard there will be either a warning light or a gauge that reads “H” and “C”. The gauge indicates whether your engine is hot or cold or somewhere in between. The primary function of this gauge is to measure the temperature of the coolant fluid in your engine. If the light flashes on, or the gauge reads at near maximum, it is telling you there is an excess of heat in your engine. The gauge is the best way to stay updated on the current temperature of your engine, and it should be checked frequently at the first sign of any engine issues. With modern automobiles, any deviation above the normal temperature is a sign of a problem, so pull over quick!

4. Steam or Water Vapor

If you notice steam or water vapor flowing out from underneath your hood, pull over and turn off your vehicle immediately! Steam indicates that your coolant has surpassed the boiling point. After this occurs, and if you don’t take the appropriate action quickly, your engine can begin to break down. This sign is the easiest to see but also the most severe. As with anything auto-related, prevention is key. So, make sure you are scheduling routine auto maintenance appointments at Casey’s Automotive.

5. Your Engine’s Power Has Reduced

An engine that is overheating might not be able to power your vehicle at the rate you have grown accustomed to, and if you suspect that your vehicle’s power has reduced, immediately start looking for all the warning signs as listed above. If one or more of those signs are noticeable, there is a good chance that your engine is overheating. If you should choose to open your hood to allow for the heat to escape, do so cautiously! An overheated engine means very hot steam, and very hot steam means the potential for badly burned skin. To ensure your safety, contact a Casey’s advisor immediately.

Get Convenient and Reliable Auto Repair Services in Chantilly, Virginia

If you are located within the Northern Virginia area, trust the experienced auto repair professionals at Casey’s Automotive to fulfill your automotive needs. Whether it be an oil change, tire rotation, radiator, tires, or anything else, Casey’s is the place for all your automotive maintenance and repair needs. Be sure to check your water coolant gauge during every trip to keep your engine and vehicle in good condition. If you are concerned that your engine is overheating, pull over, turn off your vehicle, and contact Casey’s immediately!

Contact us today at (703) 802-6900 to schedule an appointment!

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