Best Practices to Troubleshoot the Mainsprings of Engine Overheating in a Volkswagenby admin February 11, 2021
If your Volkswagen’s engine is overheating, then you’ll want to solve the problem right away, but trying to do so without the right precautions can be very dangerous. To properly troubleshoot an overheated engine, you should follow these four steps: determining whether or not the engine is overheating, identifying the source of the problem, applying necessary short-term solutions, and taking your Volkswagen to a professional mechanic. Below is more information on how to safely accomplish each of these tasks.
How to Tell if Your Engine is Overheating
The first step to fixing an overheated engine is verifying that it is, in fact, overheating. Typically, this is quite easy to do. If your Volkswagen’s engine is overheating, then there is a strong chance that its temperature gauge will illuminate. Additionally, the vehicle may begin to experience rough idling, and white smoke might pour from the engine or the tailpipe.
If you notice any of these symptoms while driving your Volkswagen, you should pull over to the side of the road, turn off the engine, and give your vehicle time to cool down before moving on to the next steps.
Troubleshooting the Problem
Once your Volkswagen’s engine has cooled down enough that its radiator cap is not warm to the touch, then it’s time to try and troubleshoot what caused it to overheat. To do this, first check the level of coolant in your vehicle’s coolant reserve. Low coolant by itself can lead to engine overheating, so if your vehicle’s coolant levels are low, then simply refilling the coolant reservoir may solve the problem. However, it’s important to note that low coolant levels often result from other problems such as radiator damage or water pump gasket failure. Therefore, if your vehicle’s coolant is low even though you recently refilled it, you should check the cooling system for leaks or cracks.
If your Volkswagen has plenty of coolant and you can’t find any coolant leaks, then the next component you should check is the coolant hose. Occasionally, blockages can form in these hoses and prevent coolant from reaching the rest of the engine. If your vehicle suffers from these blockages, then its coolant system will need to be flushed before it can safely be driven again.
Another component that you may wish to examine is the radiator fan. In order to do this, turn your vehicle on and make sure that all of its climate control features are off. Next, open your Volkswagen’s hood and listen and watch to determine if the radiator fan turns on. If it never does and your vehicle’s engine overheats, then the fan is definitely broken. Further examination may help you determine where, specifically, the fan is broken, but if you are not experienced with car repairs, then that task is best left to a professional.
A final component to check when troubleshooting an overheated engine is the serpentine belt. This belt is responsible for rotating the alternator and water pump, and if it breaks, then coolant may be unable to circulate through the engine. To determine if the serpentine belt is broken, first look under the hood to see if the belt is missing. If it is still there, then check the tension of the belt to make sure that it is still tight. If the belt is missing or loose, then you will almost certainly need to have it replaced.
Solving the Problem
Unfortunately, unless your vehicle’s engine is overheating because you forgot to put coolant in it, the problem of an overheating engine can be challenging to solve. The coolant hose, radiator fan, and serpentine belt are all finicky components that are difficult to repair or replace on one’s own. Therefore, if your Volkswagen’s engine is overheating, the best way to fix the problem is by taking your vehicle to an experienced mechanic.
Here at McIlvain Motors, our ASE certified technicians have the expertise necessary to fix any and all of the factors behind engine overheating. Whether your Volkswagen’s coolant hoses are clogged or its radiator fan is broken, we know how to fix it!
We are the go-to repair shop for Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen owners in Chandler, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe, AZ, and we would love to add you to our list of satisfied customers. So give us a call today, or stop by the shop to learn more.