Car encyclopedia

Engine Overheating Diagnosis

When an engine overheats, the temperature gauge will read very high and the radiator and/or the coolant reservoir will boil over. When these symptoms occur, it is best to pull over to the side of the road and shut off the engine to minimize the possibility of permanent engine damage.

RepairPal First Aid:

NOTE: If you suspect that your engine has over heated and coolant is leaking on the ground, we recommend towing your vehicle to the repair shop to prevent any serious engine damage.

When you suspect an engine over heating problem, here are a few simple questions to ask your self and some steps to take that will help the shop repair the problem correctly. It may help you decide whether or not you can drive your vehicle to the shop or should have it towed there, in order to prevent damaging the engine.

1. Let the engine cool off for at least 30 minutes.
2. Is the coolant level reservoir and/or radiator lower than normal?
3. If you need to add water or coolant, does it leak on the ground as you do so?
3. Did the engine over heat with out any loss of coolant?
4. When the engine over heated, was the vehicle stationary or was it moving?
5. Is there any wetness on the floor carpet, especially in the front passenger area?
6. Is the engine over heating problem consistent or does it seem to come and go?
7. To the best of your ability, write down answers to these questions and bring them to your shop.

An Engine Overheating Diagnosis can involve special computer system scan tools, specialized electrical test equipment, coolant system test equipment, and specialized technician training.

The purpose of this article is to provide an outline for some of the essential steps involved in performing an Engine Heating Diagnosis. This guide can be used—by you and the shop—to track the progress as the mechanics perform the test.

Engine Overheating Diagnostic Check Sheet

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