Why Is Your Subaru Overheating?

woman checking the engine of her car

Imagine this scenario: You’re driving to the Rockies, perhaps enjoying some fun funky music, when suddenly your Subaru conks out. It just won’t move anymore. You pop up the hood, and sure enough, smoke comes out like the devil.

You call for help, but it will be a while before they can reach where you are. You’re stuck, unable to do anything else but wait—and wait. By all indications, your vehicle overheated. But then, it might not be something you’d expect from a car like Subaru that has a unique engine design. What’s happening?

Engines Can Still Be the Same

Engines these days come in different designs or styles such as boxer and V-type. A Subaru is unique as it fits a boxer engine type in the car. This means the cylinders are laid flat and are facing opposite each other.

This allows the engineers to place the cylinders deeper into the hood, providing the vehicle with more stability. The compact design also means Subaru can come up with smaller vehicles. The problem is it’s still using an internal combustion engine, which can raise the temperature of your car significantly. This boosts the risks of overheating.

Other Causes of Overheating

mechanic examining a car engineThe engine is just half of the equation, however. Overheating can still happen for a variety of reasons:

1. Head Gasket – Overheating might imply a Subaru head gasket replacement. A head gasket is a critical component of the engine system. It acts as a separator between the cylinders and the engine block. It also works as a seal and protects the engine block during cylinder compression.

Sometimes during the compression process, head gasket experiences damage. It can bear holes known as blown head gaskets. This then increases the risk of a leak.

Although you can still drive your Subaru with a blown head gasket, the car can still develop a leak and damage the gasket further. You might even destroy your engine, which means a costlier repair for you.

2. Faulty Thermostat – Like your home thermostat, the one in the car also helps regulate temperature. The difference is that it ensures the flow of the engine’s coolant is A-OK. Otherwise, the coolant won’t flow toward the radiator. This can then raise the temperature of the car.

Your thermostat can go rogue on you—that is, it provides you with false readings. It might then prevent you from detecting a growing problem such as a coolant leakage.

3. Coolant Leak – This is the number one reason for overheating. Your car has antifreeze, and its purpose is to keep the engine’s temperature at an optimal level. But if the hose or the radiator develops holes, it can lead to a coolant leak.

When this occurs, the coolant can combine with oil, and they don’t mix well together. Your vehicle will also suck air to compensate for the loss. If the ambient temperature is already hot or warm, then your Subaru will overheat.

Overheating can happen, but it doesn’t have to be a regular occurrence for you. You can avoid it by making sure that your vehicle is in good condition. Keep up with its maintenance and repair the problem before it gets worse.