If you use a diesel engine for hauling or driving through a mountainous area, then you may have had concerns about overheating your engine. Once an engine gets overheated, it will probably mean expensive repairs or even a possible engine rebuild. If you've noticed that temperature gauge running hot and are wondering what might be the cause, here are a few possible reasons.

Old or dirty coolant:

Coolant helps keep your car running at the proper temperature by cycling it between the engine and the radiator. The first thing you should do if you find your engine running warmer than usual is check your coolant for the proper color and any sludge or excess dirt. Have your engine flushed if the color is wrong, it seems excessively dirty or you can't remember the last time you had a system flush.

Wrong coolant or coolant mixture:

Some models do better with special anti-freeze that is designed for diesels. The anti-freeze will perform more efficiently and to reduce the chance of cavitation, or tiny bubbles, forming on the cylinder linings. Preventing cavitation is important as it could lead to pitting on the cylinder walls because of the high vibration of diesel combustion. Always have the proper mixture and never fill the system with water alone.

Faulty thermostat:

The thermostat helps keep the coolant at the right temperatures for the best engine performance. It is especially important when the engine is cold, as it keeps coolant from the radiator from entering the engine block, allowing engine temperatures to rise faster until it reaches an optimum temperature. When the thermostat is closed or working slowly, it may keep the coolant too warm to be effective, resulting in the engine running too warm.

Leaks and bad components:

If your cooling system is leaking or low in fluid, then your engine will run hotter. Leaks can happen in just about any component of the cooling system, including the radiator, hoses and water pump. Some leaks are easier to find than others. In some cases, especially if your engine has already overheated, the leak goes through the combustion chambers and out the tailpipe, especially if the head gasket is already leaking or blown.

If your engine is running hot, have it checked out by a qualified diesel mechanic before you have an overheating episode. He or she will check for leaks and also check your sensors to make sure they're not giving a false reading. With luck, you will not need an expensive repair and will continue to have many trouble-free years with your vehicle. Visit M C Mechanical Services Ltd for more information.