Why Does My Car Keep Overheating in Traffic?

Your car shouldn’t overheat in traffic. Provided you take care of your cooling system, which should be serviced every 30,000 miles, today’s automobiles are designed to run cool even when they are not in motion. If your car is overheating when you are stuck in traffic, Techway Automotive lists the four common reasons why your temperature gauge rises below.

Low Coolant Levels

If you haven’t had your radiator serviced in 30,000 miles, it’s possible that your coolant level is too low. This will cause your car to overheat when there isn’t enough air flowing through the grill, which is the case when you are sitting in traffic. It’s important to have your radiator flushed and refilled every 30,000 miles and to check the coolant level regularly. If the level is low, top it off with the manufacturer-recommended coolant. Clogs within the cooling system can also affect how the coolant cycles through the engine and this, too, can make it overheat.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

The thermostat keeps track of your engine’s temperature and releases coolant as necessary. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, such as getting stuck in the closed position, your engine will not get the coolant it needs and it will overheat while you are sitting in traffic. Depending on how bad the thermostat is malfunctioning, your engine may overheat all the time.

Clogged Grille

The radiator is located behind your vehicle’s grille. If the front grille is clogged with debris and dirt, the radiator does not get the air it needs to keep the coolant inside of it at cooler temperatures. Consequently, what can happen is that you have hot engine coolant circulating through your engine, and this will make it overheat quickly when you are stuck in a traffic jam. This can also make it difficult for the engine to stay cool even when you are moving right along.

Broken Fans

Finally, your car may overheat in stop-and-go traffic if the radiator fans are broken and not working as they should be. You hear these fans come on when the engine starts to get hot. If you hear nothing, the fans aren’t working. Like the air that flows through the front grille, these fans blow over the radiator to cool down the hot engine coolant. If they aren’t working, hot coolant will circulate through your engine.

Techway Automotive in Dothan, AL, or Blakely, GA, can help. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for a cooling system check if your car overheats constantly in traffic.

Written by Developer Autoshop