Advanced Heat Transfer

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Top Engine Overheating Problems

The last thing a driver wants is an overheated engine, and the complementary cloud of steam billowing from under the bonnet that comes with it. Because of the pressure and heat contained within your car’s cooling system, radiator leaks can sometimes appear a whole lot more dramatic than they actually are.

Though overheating is the obvious main issue, there are a few other smaller repairs you may need to make to keep your car radiator and cooling system in top working order.

Failed thermostat

When a vehicle overheats, we tend to automatically blame the radiator. However, the most common culprit is usually the thermostat – this is a type of valve that controls the amount of coolant flowing in and out of the radiator.

As separate parts of the cooling system, the thermostat and radiator must operate together in order to ensure that enough coolant flows in and out of the radiator. When the thermostat fails, the car tends to overheat very quickly.

Radiator hose leaks
As wear components, radiator hoses need to be replaced periodically, regardless of if they’re actually damaged or not. They are a common source of leaks within the cooling system, as they tend to be more prone to failure over time.

If air becomes trapped in the cooling system, it can reduce the efficiency of the coolant by restricting its flow. Air trapped in the cooling system may cause your car to run hot, so if you’re experiencing an unexplained temperature rise, look into getting the system bled in order to remove air bubbles.

Radiator leaks

Leaks within the radiator itself can be more difficult to locate, as they can be internal rather than visible on the outside, like a hose. If you see steam or bubbles coming from the radiator, you’ll need to have it repaired or replaced.

Sometimes radiator leaks can repaired, but this is a complicated process and should only be carried out by professionals.

Water pump has failed
Cooling systems rely on the water pump to propel coolant through the network of pipes and hoses that regulate engine temperature.

Fluid moves through the radiator, then past the pump and into the engine. Then, it’s forced back into the radiator and the cyclic process repeats again. If the water pump fails, the car will overheat because the water will no longer be circulating.

Obstruction in the cooling system

As time progresses, sediment and build-up can appear within the cooling system. Coolant ‘sours’, leaving behind a sticky residue, which can harden and cause blockages.

Sometimes airflow through the radiator is obstructed by blockages, which then make it difficult for the radiator to transfer heat to the air.

Failed radiator fan
In modern cars, an electric fan is mounted at the front of the vehicle to pull air through the radiator. This keeps the car cool even at low speeds – if you find that your car overheats when in traffic, but is fine on the dual carriageway, you may have a failed radiator fan.

Get in touch

Advanced Radiators supply a huge range of both OEM and Aftermarket radiators, all with a 2 year guarantee. We can also offer to try and repair your leaking radiator to help you keep the costs down.

Give us a call on 0191 267 3312, or drop an email to We look forward to speaking with you.

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