Why is My Car Overheating?

Overheating Car Engine

Wondering why your car is overheating or what it means when your car overheats on Mission Hills roads? There are many reasons a car would overheat, but most boil down (pun intended) to cooling system issues. Cars generally have an optimal operating temperature of around 195 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If your vehicle’s temperature gauge is reading far higher than that, do not drive anywhere and schedule service ASAP. Pull over safely if on the road, or, if still in a parking lot or driveway, do not leave where you are. Either way, turn the vehicle off. Read more tips below.


What Causes a Car to Overheat?

What does it mean when your car overheats? This issue is most often symptomatic of some larger issue within the vehicle cooling system, which helps to keep the engine operating at a stable temperature during all months of the year. With that in mind, here are reasons a car would overheat in Cerritos:

  • There’s an issue with your coolant: Coolant is simply antifreeze diluted with water. A 50/50 water/antifreeze mix is most common, but some vehicles require different dilutions, and if you have the wrong one in your car, your engine may be prone to overheating. 
  • There’s a leak in the cooling system: This is by far the most common reason that a car would overheat. Leaks in components like the radiator, hoses, water pump, head gasket, and thermostat housing are just some of the culprits. 
  • There’s a blockage in the coolant hose: Dirt and debris can block the coolant hoses, preventing this vital fluid from circulating around the vehicle cooling system. Much like a blood clot in a person, this blockage must be removed to restore normal functioning.
  • Your car’s water pump is broken: The water pump pushes coolant throughout the car’s cooling system. If this is broken, it can cause the engine to overheat.
  • There’s an issue with the radiator: Radiator issues are another common reason a car would overheat. There could be a blockage, a leak, or something wrong with the radiator fan, and all could cause a car to overheat.

What to Do When a Car Overheats

It’s possible that you’ll have already been driving around West Hollywood when you start noticing your car overheating. If this is the case, there are a few mitigating actions you can take to lessen potential damage to your engine and cooling system:

  • If you’re running the air conditioning, turn it off and instead run your heat at full blast to pull heat away from your engine. 
  • Pull over safely to the side of the road as soon as possible.
  • Do not try to pop the hood by hand for at least 30 minutes
  • Consider calling a towing service to pick your car up and bring it to your mechanic of choice, such as our service center. We specialize in cooling system service for Toyota vehicles!

You Can Count on the Toyota of Downtown LA Service Department!

Ready to take advantage of our cooling system service knowledge? Now that you know what causes a car to overheat, if you’d like to know for sure why your car is overheating right now, we encourage you to call 833-315-3922 to book a service appointment ASAP. Meanwhile, check out our service specials to save more on your next cooling system repair.

More from Toyota of Downtown LA

  • 2022 Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity

    Who says choosing a midsize SUV has to be cause for a decrease in towing capacity? Not us at Toyota of Downtown LA! In fact, though trucks like the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra almost always tow more than their SUV counterparts, the Toyota Highlander offers quite an impressive (not to mention capable) 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity; that’s…

  • 2022 Toyota Tundra Towing Capacity

      The Toyota Tundra is more than just a stylish, rugged truck. It’s also quite a capable truck. Deciding between the Tundra vs. Tacoma to see which meets your Mission Hills needs better? As was the case in model year 2021, the 2022 Tundra and Tacoma offer very different capabilities, especially when it comes to space…

  • 2022 Toyota RAV4 Colors

      With the selection of interior and exterior 2022 Toyota RAV4 colors, you can customize your new SUV to reflect your unique aesthetic. Whether you’re looking for the classic appeal of Midnight Black Metallic or the eye-catching boldness of Ruby Flare Pearl, your new RAV4 will make just the right impression around Mission Hills! Explore your…

Toyota of Downtown LA 34.0341079, -118.2750452.
AdChoices