Engine overheats – what to do?

Now you can see them standing at the edge of the road again: cars with open hoods, steam from the engine compartment or with a large puddle of water under the front end. Diagnosis: Boiled Radiator! Why does this happen so often during the holiday season? As is often the case with a breakdown, various points play together.

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Maintenance backlog: If the fill levels of liquids have not been checked for a long time, there is often a lack of coolant. Then there is not enough liquid in the circuit to cool the motor sufficiently.

Long driving distances: A lack of water is often not noticed on the way to work because the car hardly has time to warm up properly over short distances. The situation is different on long journeys on the motorway on vacation, as the engine is required and reaches operating temperature.

Traffic jam: This is the tricky moment. Just full throttle, suddenly the traffic is standing still in the sweltering heat. No more headwind to ensure a cooling flow of air through the radiator mesh. The fan then often doesn’t work either, the ambient air is much too warm in the sun and in the many other cars. For this reason, a thorough check before the start of the holiday is so important. Read the picture gallery to find out what you can do in the event of a boiling cooler.

That means the engine temperatures

20 degrees Celsius: The engine is cold. Avoid high revs and traffic light sprints. If you step on the gas now, you have to reckon with increased engine wear, which damages the engine.

90 degrees Celsius: Perfect temperature, the engine is comfortable and ready for any crime. As the temperature rises, the thermostat opens and the coolant flows towards the radiator.

130 degrees Celsius: Critical area, there is a problem with the engine cooling. If you continue driving, you risk major engine damage. First measure: pull over, heating on full!

Is the engine temperature rising? Then off the gas or out of the traffic jam and off the highway. Continue driving at a low speed and keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If the display continues to rise, pull over and switch off the engine. Otherwise there is a risk of expensive consequential damage. Never open a hot expansion tank! Boiling water would spurt out of the container and cause burns.

picture gallery


First Aid: When the engine boils

But not only the engine cooling suffers from high heat, other components are also under great strain. Neither starter nor traction batteries like high heat. Even with old brake fluid there is a risk of trouble, especially when you go to the mountains for a summer vacation.
There is a risk of heat death here - check the brake fluid level Service

Check brake fluid! It is hygroscopic and attracts water. Problem: Water lowers the boiling point, which means that vapor bubbles can form in the brake system – and the brakes can fail.

High altitude plus water in the brake fluid – the combination can lead to brake failure on mountain passes. The regular technical check offers protection against dangers.

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