If the engine overheats, your Trax will turn on the following warning light:
If the warning light of your Trax comes on, or you see that there is steam coming out of the car’s hood (or bonnet), you should follow these precautions for both your safety and your car’s safety:
If the temperature is high but there is NO steam coming out of the hood:
If there is steam coming out of the hood:
⚠️ Turn your car off and get away from it. Do not try to open its hood, this steam flows at high temperatures and it may be dangerous to stay close to it. Let it cool down on its own.
⚠️ Call your insurance company so that a tow truck can come for your car.
⚠️ After such an incident, it is probable that your engine has been damaged and will not work anymore. You should have a specialist check it out if that is the case.
⚠️ Under no circumstances should you open the hood or the coolant reservoir. If you do that, the liquid may be ejected upwards, and you may get burned.
There are a lot of different types and brands of coolants, and each one has its particular characteristics. You should always use the kind of coolant indicated in the owner's manual. Like this, your Trax‘s engine will be thoroughly protected. If there is an emergency, you can use a coolant with glycol, no matter their color (they may be either green or pink). Afterward, when you have time, you can check the specific type of coolant your car needs.
There are some overheating causes that you can easily prevent yourself:
- Always use high-quality coolants: change the coolant every 30,000 miles (50,000 kilometers) or after 2 years. If you want to know more about this, you should read the owner's manual.
- Never use water (either distilled or tap water): the coolant has certain qualities that are very important for the correct performance of the system. For example, it boils at a higher temperature.
- Check the coolant level every 15 days: keep the coolant level up to the level indicated in the coolant reservoir.
- Clean the radiator fins: the radiator may gather some garbage such as leaves, mud, or dust that clogs its airflow and its cooling qualities will decrease. Clean it with a brush every time you check the coolant level.
There are two main causes for engine overheat:
⚠️ The coolant does not flow through the system like it should. These may be some of the causes:
⚠️ There is not enough air flowing through the radiator. These may be some of the reasons:
⚠️ Other causes:
All engines have a cooling system, which works by taking the heat from the engine to the radiator.
This system is quite simple, and it includes the following parts:
The engine cools thanks to the coolant, or “antifreeze.” You can usually buy it at gas stations when you “check the fluids.” It is typically green or pink. You must never use just water; this will damage the engine in a very short time period.
You can see how this system works in the following image: the liquid takes the heat generated by the engine and takes it to the radiator. There is a pump that makes the liquid flow, and it pushes it along the circuit. The hot liquid enters through the upper part of the radiator, and it comes out being cool from the bottom part.
In order to keep its good performance, the engine of your Trax must always stay within the optimal temperature range, which is usually around 190ºF (90°C). To guarantee this temperature, the system has two “auxiliary” pieces that control temperatures: the thermostat and the electric fan. The thermostat prevents the coolant from cooling too much, and the electric fan stops it from heating.
The temperature sensor monitors the whole system that is usually controlled by the central computer or by a separate electronic module, depending on the car manufacturer.
Like in every system, any of these parts may malfunction or get damaged, and that will make the engine overheat, as we explained above.