how to reduce car engine temperature

In this brief article we explore the reasons for the increase in car engine temperature and methods to identify and rectify engine overheating.

How to reduce car engine temperature?

The operation of car engine produces heat.In order to dissipate this excess heat, a cooling system is provided.During its operation car engine temperature can rise upto 200 degree celsius and overheating of the engine occurs due to a variety of reasons.Overheating of engine can cause major problems and thus it is imperative to reduce the temperature of the car engine.

Reasons for Overheating:

Car engines burn fuel to produce mechanical power.In the process tremendous heat is generated.Engines are designed to dissipate excess heat to the atmosphere by the use of mechanisms such as radiators etc.However, increased temperature can result in suboptimal performance of the engine,thus reducing efficiency and output. Some of the major reasons for overheating of the car engine are:

1.Inadequate Coolant

The coolant or antifreeze is a liquid that removes the heat from the engine and passes it on to the radiator,which dissipates it to the atmosphere. Too little or no coolant causes over heating.

2.Faulty Radiator

The radiator is a device responsible for removing of heat from the coolant.A damaged radiator or faulty parts can affect the radiators ability to take away the heat in right proportions.

3.Leaks in the Cooling System

The cooling system uses liquid coolant to flow over areas of high temperature.Any cracks or leaks in the cooling system reduces the the availability of the coolant in the engine.This causes the car engine to overheat.

4.Not enough lubrication

The car engine lubricant reduces the friction between moving parts.Reduced lubricant availability increases the friction between moving parts and therefore increases the temperature of the engine.

5.Damaged water pump

The water pump ensures that the flow of the coolant, which carries the excess heat,is optimal.However, a damaged pump can affect the rate of coolant flow and thus results in the rise of the temperatures of the car engine.

6.Thermostat issues 

A thermostat regulates the temperature of the car engine.Thus a faulty thermostat can cause abrupt heating of the engine.

7.Defects in the Heat Exchanger

A clogged heat exchanger unit can hinder the flow of coolant and cause overheating of the engine.

How to identify car engine overheating?

Early identification of engine overheating is crucial for the quick resolution of the problem.Engine overheating can be identified by the following ways

  1. Monitoring of the thermostat.

A thermostat monitor is generally provided on the dashboard of cars.Ideally, the needle of the gauge should be around the midpoint between H and C(Hot and Cold). If the needle is pointing towards H, it indicates higher than optimal engine temperature.

  1. Smoke coming out of the hood.

If smoke or steam is seen to be coming out of the hood of the car, the engine has been overheated.

  1. Puddles of coolant beneath the car.

This indicates the presence of cracks or leaks in the cooling system.

How to reduce the car engine temperature?

Engines are designed to be durable.However, due to one or more of the above mentioned factors, overheating of the engine can occur.Thus it is pertinent to understand what to do when the car engine overheats.

1.Turn off the Air Conditioner(A/c) 

Doing so reduces the load on the engine.This immediately relieves the engine from its job of running the A/C.Increasing the heat of the cabin too can help to pull away some amount of engine heat.

2.Pull over to a safe parking place

Driving with an overheating engine is a recipe for disaster as it compromises the safety of the car and aggravates the damages.

3.  Open all the windows

This allows for ventilation and takes away some heat.

4.Don’t open the hood immediately

There is good chance that the coolant may have become extremely hot and pressurised.Thus it is not a great idea to immediately open the hood after stopping the car.Ensure that sufficient time  has elapsed before opening the hood.

5.Call for assistance

An authorised mechanic should be called to check and rectify the issues of your car engine and radiator.

How to prevent car engine overheating?

Regular maintenance of your vehicle is a rather easy and effective way to prevent overheating of the engine and risk damages and losses, Here are a few tips to prevent engine overheating

1.Check your car’s coolant levels on a regular basis and top up the coolant to appropriate levels.

2.Monitor the thermostat while driving.Get you engine inspected by a mechanic at the slightest  indication of overheating
3.Keeping a spare bottle of coolant is a good idea,especially on long drives.
4.Do not use the car to tow above its limits.This heavily burdens the engine and causes overheating.

5.Periodic checkups of hoses, pipes,  flushing the cooling system and radiator should be done

.Frequently Asked Questions:How to reduce car engine temperature?

  1. Is engine overheating bad for my car?

Yes, engines are designed to operate under optimal temperature.Excess heat which is produced in the engine should be released.Not releasing this excess heat can result in various problems


  1. Can engine overheating be prevented?

Yes. Regular check up of the cooling system can prevent engine overheating.

  1. Can an overheating engine be fixed?

Yes. An authorised mechanic can replace faulty parts of the cooling system and restore the optimal temperature of the engine.However, it is suggested that preventing engine overheating is better as it is simple and cheaper.



Winkler, H., “Engine-Temperature Control Factors,” SAE Technical Paper 370136, 1937,