It’s never a good thing if your engine overheats. When you’re stuck in stop-and-go traffic, your car may overheat, but when you’re on the highways, it stays cool. So, why car overheats in traffic not on highway? If you’ve noticed that your engine overheats only when you’re idling in stop-and-go traffic but not when you accelerate, it’s most likely due to one of these three causes.
It’s worth knowing that when going at greater speeds, there is usually enough airflow over the radiator to eliminate the need for a fan. When you’re stalled in traffic, the engine temperature rises as a result.
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Why Does My Car Overheats in Traffic Not on Highway?
There are 3 possible reasons that can lead to this overheating situation.
1. Problems with the thermostat
In your car’s cooling system, the thermostat plays a crucial role. When the engine is heating up, it seals the coolant out of the engine. As a result, it can attain operational temperature more quickly. The thermostat opens and allows the coolant to flow once the engine reaches this temperature.
When your engine warms up, though, if the thermostat isn’t operating, it may not let enough coolant in. It’s possible it won’t let anyone in at all! Since your engine is warming up, you may not spot the overheating right immediately, and it could get worse while you’re stuck in traffic.
2. Coolant that is either low or contaminated
Similarly, if your cooling system’s coolant isn’t doing its job properly, your engine may overheat. The thermostat, as previously said, keeps the coolant away from the engine until it reaches operating temperature. This implies that a coolant problem may not be obvious straight away, and it may only become apparent later in the drive.
3. Radiator fan broken
If, however, your car cools down to normal temperature when you get traveling, the most probable reason is a broken radiator fan. The airflow passes across the radiator when your automobile is moving, helping to cool the fluid. There is no airflow when the car is idling, therefore the radiator fan comes in. It circulates air across the radiator to keep the coolant cool.
The radiator fan can cease working for a variety of reasons, including electrical issues, physical breakdown, or even being obstructed. When this happens, the engine may overheat at critical times when the fan is needed the most. When you get back up to speed, though, the airflow absorbs the heat from the engine once more.
The repair or replacement of a radiator fan is a comparatively simple procedure when contrasted to the significant repairs required for an engine that has been damaged by overheating. That’s why, if your car’s engine starts to overheat, you should turn it off as quickly as possible.
Overheating is a serious problem that should not be ignored. It might lead to a slew of expensive losses. You should take action as soon as you detect that your car overheats at all times or when it is idling.
It’s also worth noting that there are other possible causes for your car’s overheating. These are only the most common.
If none of the aforementioned factors appear to be the origin of the problem you’re having, we recommend that you get a skilled mechanic to work on your vehicle.
Hi there! I’m Naomi O’Colman. I’ve got years of experience working at an auto repair shop here in Texas under my belt. On top of that, ever since I was a kid I’ve been passionate about the auto industry. Since I’ve joined the team at automotivegearz.com I’ve been enthusiastically sharing my passion and insights with my readers. I’m dedicated to delivering high quality content and helping you stay up to date with the latest automotive trends and products out there!