Car overheating then going back to normal is a common issue for car owners nowadays, and several reasons could cause your vehicle to overheat.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of a car overheating then going back to normal, and what you can do to solve the issue.
A car overheating and going back to normal is most likely caused by a bad thermostat that can no longer control hot water flow inside the engine and radiator. Usually, replacing the faulty thermostat solves this issue.
Possible Reasons Car Overheating Then Going Back to Normal
A number of issues could cause a car overheating then going back to normal temperature. Most likely, there is a faulty thermostat, but there are several options that you could troubleshoot.
Here are seven common reasons for car overheating then going back to normal:
1. A Bad Thermostat
If your car is overheating then going back to normal, it could be due to a bad thermostat.
An overheated engine can cause serious damage. The most common cause of an engine overheating is a bad thermostat.
The thermostat is a small device that regulates coolant flow through the engine.
If the thermostat is stuck in a closed position, it will restrict coolant flow inside the engine and cause the engine to overheat.
Here are some symptoms of a bad thermostat and how you can fix it.
Symptoms of a Bad Thermostat
- The car’s engine overheats quickly
- The car’s engine is taking longer than usual to warm up
- The car’s engine coolant temperature gauge is the red
- The car’s engine overheats at low speeds
- There is steam coming from under the hood
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is essential to take your car to a mechanic to have the thermostat replaced.
Trying to drive with a bad thermostat can damage the engine beyond repair.
Change the Thermostat to a New One
Thermostats are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, so it’s good to get a new one if your car’s thermostat is not working properly.
You can find replacement thermostats at most auto parts stores. Be sure to get one that is compatible with your car’s make and model.
The thermostat is located on the car’s engine. It’s a small, cylindrical object attached to the coolant hose.
If you’re not comfortable replacing the thermostat yourself, you can take your car to a mechanic and have them do it for you.
2. Coolant Is Underfilled
When car engines overheat, it’s often due to a car not being properly maintained.
The coolant in the car engine is designed to keep the engine from overheating.
Symptoms of Low Coolant
Symptoms of low coolant can include, but is not limited to:
- An overheated engine
- Visible bubbles in the coolant
- Steam from the exhaust system
- A dirty and frothy radiator fluid
Inspect Your Car for Leaking Coolant
If your car’s engine is overheating, it may be due to low coolant levels. This can cause further engine damage, so it’s important to check the coolant level and top it off if necessary.
If there is no visible coolant in the radiator, you’ll need to top it off with coolant.
Ensure the car cools down properly before opening the radiator cap, as opening the radiator cap when the car is still hot can cause severe burns.
Make sure you let the car cool down properly. Open the radiator cap, and if you don’t see any coolant, you need to top off the radiator with coolant.
Coolant should not be filled through the expansion tank.
3. The Radiator Might Be Defect
A broken car radiator is a common issue that drivers face. If you’re not sure what the symptoms of a broken radiator are, keep reading.
Symptoms the Radiator Is Defect
The most common symptom of a broken radiator is coolant leakage.
If you notice a leak coming from your car’s radiator, the radiator is likely broken.
Other symptoms of a damaged radiator can include a decrease in engine power, strange noise coming from the engine, and an increase or decrease in the car’s temperature.
A broken radiator can lead to severe engine damage if it’s not fixed quickly.
The Radiator Might Have to Be Replaced
If your car’s radiator is broken, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible. Here are a few steps to help you replace the car’s radiator:
- Locate the car’s radiator. The radiator is usually located at the front of the vehicle, near the engine.
- Disconnect the hoses from the radiator. There will usually be two hoses connected to the radiator. Disconnect them by unscrewing the hose clamps.
- Remove the bolts that hold the radiator in place with a wrench. There will usually be four or five bolts holding the radiator in place.
- Carefully lift out the old radiator and set it aside.
- Install the new radiator in place and replace the bolts. Tighten them with a wrench.
- Reconnect the hoses by screwing on the hose clamps.
- Fill the radiator with coolant until it reaches the “full” line.
- Start the engine and check for leaks. If you see any leaks, tighten the hose clamps or replace the bolts.
- Top off the radiator with coolant as needed.
4. Water Pump Might Have Seized
A water pump is a component of a car’s cooling system that helps to keep the engine from overheating.
When it breaks or seizes, it can cause a number of symptoms that will need to be addressed to prevent the engine from being damaged.
Symptoms of a Faulty Water Pump
One of the most common symptoms of a broken or seized water pump is a loud knocking noise from the engine. This noise is caused by the water pump bearings failing, and it can be very loud and difficult to miss.
Other symptoms of a broken or seized water pump include an overheating engine, a loss of power, and decreased fuel efficiency.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is crucial to take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to get the water pump replaced.
If the water pump is not replaced, it can cause extensive damage to the engine, which can be costly.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a broken or seized water pump, be sure to have it replaced as soon as possible.
Install a New Waterpump
The process of replacing a water pump on a car can be difficult, and it is usually best left to a professional. However, if you are determined to try it yourself, there are a few things that you will need to know.
The first thing you will need to do is remove the fan belt from the engine. This can be done by loosening the tensioner and removing the belt.
Once the belt is removed, you can then remove the water pump.
Once the water pump is removed, you will need to remove the gasket from the old water pump and install a new gasket on the new water pump.
You can now install the new water pump and reinstall the belt and tensioner.
If you are not comfortable doing any of these things, it is best to leave it to a professional.
6. Bad Temperature Sensors
Temperature sensors are essential parts of your car, and if they’re not working correctly, they can cause a lot of problems.
Symptoms of Bad Temperature Sensors
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be due to a bad temperature sensor on your car:
- The temperature gauge on your dashboard is not reading correctly.
- Your car is overheating, even though the radiator fans are running.
- The AC isn’t working as well as it used to.
- The heater isn’t working as well as it used to.
- You’re getting strange engine warning lights.
- Your car is using more gas than usual.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get your temperature sensor checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.
A bad temperature sensor can cause a lot of damage to your car, which could become costly.
Change the Temperature Sensors
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it may be due to a bad temperature sensor on your car.
The problem can be fixed by replacing the temperature sensors in most cases. Here’s how to do it:
- Loosen the screws that hold the temperature sensor in place.
- Unplug & remove the old sensor.
- Install the new sensor & plug it in.
- Tighten the screws to hold the sensor in place.
- Start your car and check to see if the problem has been fixed.
If you’re not comfortable replacing the temperature sensor on your own, you can take your car to a mechanic for help. They should be able to replace the sensor for you in a matter of minutes.
7. Heater Core Might Be Plugged or Faulty
A car’s heater core is the part of the cooling system that heats up and cools down the air in your vehicle.
If your car is overheating then going back to normal, a faulty heater core may be the cause.
Symptoms Of a Bad Heater Core
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it might mean that your car’s heater core is clogged or faulty:
- Warm air is blowing out of the vents, but not enough to heat up the car
- A strong smell of coolant inside the car
- The temperature gauge reading is unusually high or low
- Leaking water on the floor near the dashboard
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to take your car to a mechanic and have them take a look.
The heater core is a part of the car’s cooling system, and if it’s not working correctly, it can cause severe damage to the vehicle’s engine.
So don’t wait; if you think there might be a problem with your heater core, get it checked out as soon as possible.
Swap The Heater Core To a New One
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it might mean that your car’s heater core is clogged or faulty.
If this is the case, you’ll need to replace the heater core. Here are a few steps to help you do that:
- Disconnect the battery.
- Remove the glove box.
- Unbolt the heater core.
- Take out the old heater core and replace it with a new one.
- Reconnect the battery and test the car’s heating system.
It’s important to note that you should only attempt to replace the car’s heater core if you have some experience with car repairs.
If you’re not comfortable doing the job yourself, take your car to a mechanic and let them handle it.
8. Engine Oil Levels Might Be Low
If you’re experiencing engine problems or your car is overheating then going back to normal, you should check your engine oil levels.
Symptoms Of Low Engine Oil
Low engine oil levels can cause all sorts of problems, including overheating.
Add More Oil To The Engine
The best way to check your engine oil levels is to use the dipstick that’s usually located near the engine.
Pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, and put it back in. Then pull it out again and check the level.
The oil level should be somewhere between the “low” and “full” marks on the dipstick.
If your engine oil levels are low, you’ll need to add more engine oil. You can either do this yourself or take your car to a mechanic.
If you choose to do it yourself, make sure you use the correct type of oil.
If your car is still overheating, another problem might be causing it. You might have to take your car to a mechanic for thorough diagnosis and repair.
By reading this article, you’ll learn about the most common things that can cause a car to suddenly overheat and then go back to normal, but you’ll also learn a few tips on fixing each of them. It’s now up to you to take the matter into your hands to figure out what is causing the problem. I hope you enjoyed reading!