Reasons a Car Overheats in Stop & Go Traffic - Subaru Engine Information in Salem, OR

An overheating engine is a big problem. Engines that run too hot are at risk of complete destruction, as the engine block itself can warp when there's too much heat. When engines overheat, it generally happens at any speed; however, there are times when the engine will be fine at speed and only begin to get too hot when the vehicle is idling in stop-and-go traffic.

No matter what's causing your vehicle's engine to overheat, we recommend pulling over and shutting off the engine as soon as it's safe to do so. If the needle in the temperature gauge only started creeping into the red when you were in traffic, let the technician who looks at your Subaru know; that will likely narrow it down to one of these three things:

Why does my Subaru overheat in stop and go traffic

3. Coolant That Is Low or Contaminated

As its name indicates, coolant helps keep your engine cool. It circulates through the cooling system, absorbing excess heat from the engine, getting cooled down in the radiator, and repeating the cycle again. If the coolant is too low, or if contamination has been introduced, it could cause the engine to overheat when you're in traffic.

2. Trouble With the Thermostat

The thermostat in your vehicle's engine is a vital part of regulating engine temperature. As the engine coolant reaches a certain temperature, the thermostat valve opens up, allowing cooled-down coolant from the radiator to enter the engine while the hotter coolant from the engine takes its turn to cool off. If there's a problem with the thermostat, regulating the temperature will be less accurate, and the temperature could begin to rise.

Schedule service to repair engine overheating at Capitol Subaru of Salem

1. Broken Radiator Fan

Both of these problems can manifest themselves when you're in stop-and-go traffic; however, they can sometimes also cause problems at speed. If sitting in traffic is the only time you experience an overheating engine, and the needle starts to move back out of the red once you speed up, the culprit is most likely a broken radiator fan. When you're driving, the normal airflow will cool down the coolant in the radiator. However, when you're driving slowly or sitting still, the fan keeps the air moving so that your coolant can still get cooled down.

Contact our service center if your Subaru overheats in stop and go traffic

There are many reasons this piece may not be working. Physical damage, a burned-out motor, and even an electrical failure can all cause the fan to stop functioning. It's even possible that debris got lodged in the fan and is blocking it so it can't spin. The technicians at Capitol Subaru will inspect the entire fan and surrounding parts to get to the bottom of the issue.

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  1. Capitol Subaru

    3235 Cherry Ave Ne
    Salem, OR 97301

    • Sales: (888) 698-1973

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Capitol Subaru of Salem

920 Auto Group Ave NE
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-576-3300
  • Service: 503-576-3300
  • Parts: 503-576-3300