How To Know If Your Subaru Engine Is Overheating

Subaru engines run hot when the car is in use. In a mechanically-sound vehicle, there is a cooling system that ensures that the engine does not overheat no matter how far the vehicle is driven. However, like all other vehicle systems, sometimes the cooling system does not work and this may result in the engine overheating. There are a number of problems associated with an overheating engine. The worst outcome is that overheating may cause your engine pistons to expand, which in turn may damage the engine block. This will result in a heft repair bill to restore your Subaru engine back to its functional form.

Fortunately, there are a number of clues that may alert you to the problem before it gets too far. Here are some ways to detect an overheating Subaru engine.

Your Hood Cover is Very Hot

When you run your Subaru engine, it is normal for the hood to heat up. However, it should not be excessively hot. If you find that your hood is abnormally hot, there is a good chance that your engine is overheating. This may then warrant taking a closer look at your engine to rule out any problems.

Warning Light

All Subaru vehicles are fitted with a temperature gauge that monitors the state of the engine. When you switch on the vehicle, the temperature light will briefly light up and then go off if the system is working properly. However, when the cooling system is faulty, the warning light is likely to stay on and turn red as the engine heats up. If something goes wrong with the cooling system when the car is in use, the temperature gauge will also come on. When this happens, the smart thing to do is to find a safe place to pull over and examine the cooling system for any faults.

It is important to remember that the temperature gauge may not always indicate an overheating engine. This is because it primarily works by monitoring the temperature of the coolant. If there is a major coolant leak, the system will be unable to detect the rising temperature as there is no coolant to measure.

Mechanical Sounds

If your Subaru has an overheating problem, it is likely that you will hear audible ticking sounds in the engine area. This sound comes from mechanical parts of your Subaru engine knocking against each other. In a well-functioning vehicle, the engine oil prevents this from happening by lubricating all the moving parts. However, at very high temperatures, the oil loses its lubricating properties and so the engine parts start knocking against each other. This is a serious problem as the heat generated by the friction only adds to the heat in the engine. These vehicle parts are also likely to wear out faster or even crack due to friction.

Leaking Coolant

The overflow function of the coolant system kicks in when coolant becomes overheated and the overflow system releases excess coolant to relieve the pressure building up. This may result in coolant leaking on the ground underneath the vehicle. If there is a leak in the radiator, the same thing is likely to happen. If you notice leaking coolant, it is best to have the vehicle checked.

Other signs that your Subaru engine is overheating are a lot more obvious. For example, noticing steam coming from under your hood is a sure sign that you have an overheating problem. There could also be burning smells as the super-heated engine melts rubber components in the system.