8 Reasons for Car Overheating Then Going Back to Normal

Hi, I'm Luis Johnson, an automobile technician, and power equipment professional. By profession, I'm a businessman and operate a car workshop. I have created this...Read more

Is your car overheating then going back to normal? More importantly, is it common for your car to overheat and then go back to normal? Should you be concerned?

Unfortunately, a car overheating then going back to normal is becoming a common incident. There are plenty of reasons for this, like faulty radiators, lower cooling levels, failure in water pipes, bad thermostats, and so on. Luckily, there are easy fixes for this problem. And taking some early precautions will be the cherry on top. 

This article is all about discussing the causes of this problem, the symptoms of this problem, and how to prevent it. So, stick with us till the end.

What Are Some Common Reasons Behind Car Overheating Then Going Back to Normal?

Car Overheating Then Going Back to Normal

There are several circumstances behind the car overheating and then going back to normal. In order to prevent this problem, it is important to know the causes first. Some of the familiar causes of a car overheating then going back to normal are below –

1. Thermostat Issue

One of the main reasons that your car is overheating, again and again, is a thermostat issue. The thermostat is the part that controls the hot water flow in the surrounding area of the engine. The entire car will remain cool when the engine is cool.

You can expect the best performance from the thermostat for maintaining the engine’s temperature. However, defective fan blades or reckless connections may cause thermostat problems. Then, it can’t handle irregular temperatures since the cooling capacity will be significantly reduced.

2. Faulty Radiator

As we all know, a radiator is a vital component in keeping the engine cool. The radiator’s function is to keep the engine cool by radiating heat away from it. If it is a faulty radiator, or if it becomes defective, then the heat will eventually build up. As a result, it won’t take much time to overheat the engine.

Faulty Radiator

On top of that, the fans attached to the radiator can also make the engine hot if they don’t function properly. The fans are responsible for combining cool air and depositing it on the radiator.

3. Coolant Leaks

Coolant leaks are responsible for causing this problem. There are some particular areas, like the gasket, the water pump, the heater core, the transmission oil cooler, freeze plugs, cylinder blocks, or heads, where you may notice coolant leaks.

Then again, coolant leaks can occur because a radiator hose could be obstructed or broken, or they could all be obstructed. Engine overheating will result from this.

4. Damaged Water Pump

The previous reason encouraged us to discuss this one. As we said earlier, coolant leaks can occur in the water pump. Subsequently, it can completely damage the pump. Then, the pump can’t supply coolant to the entire system. As a result, the coolant flow will be restricted, which will cause the engine to overheat.

5. Belt Malfunction

Belt malfunctions are related to damaging the water pump. The coolant can flow to the entire system when the belt rotates the water pump. If the belt gets stuck or displaced, then the water pump can’t turn by itself. The coolant will stop flowing, making the engine overheat.

Moreover, an engine overheating could result from a snagged belt.

6. Gasket Failure

The head gasket keeps the combustion chamber away from the engine compartment. It is responsible for sealing not only combustion gasses but also engine oil and coolant liquid.

So, you may expect to face an engine overheating problem or something more severe if the head gasket fails.

7. Low Coolant Level

Don’t get mixed with low coolant levels and coolant leaks. We are talking about different topics here. A leak is a hole in a particular part, whereas coolant is the fluid that keeps the system cool.

However, the coolant level may get lower due to leaks. This is not always the case, but it is one of many reasons for low coolant.

Aside from that, coolant levels can decrease for inadequate maintenance, and clogged or damaged radiator hoses.

8. Low Engine Oil

You should keep the engine oil level to a standard. You will notice a rise and fall in the car’s temperature when the engine oil level is low. This can be the least of your concerns, but it is somehow related to overheating the engine.

And by “engine oil,” we also mean properly lubricating the mechanical components of the car that are related to the cooling system.

What to Do if Your Car Overheats but Then Goes Back to Normal?

When your car overheats and then goes back to normal, you can go to the closest service center, where a professional is waiting to handle the situation sternly and immediately.

What to Do if Your Car Overheats but Then Goes Back to Normal

Take a look at the guidelines at a glance –

Find the Primary Cause by Running a Vehicle Diagnostic

If it is hard to identify the source of overheating, take the car to the nearest service center and perform a quick diagnosis. This will make you aware of the possibility of overheating. Thus, it will stop you from doing anything to cause your car to overheat in the future.

After the mechanic identifies and fixes your problem, you will also learn how to handle the same type of overheating issue. So, choosing this will be the best move.

Change the Faulty Thermostat

If you discover that your car is overheating because of a faulty thermostat, you should change it immediately. Since it controls how much hot water flows into the radiator, it should be the prime factor to check if the engine overheats.

The cooling system of the car may not handle the issue if the engine overheats due to a bad thermostat.

Change the Faulty Radiator

Just like a thermostat, a radiator can malfunction or simply go bad. The radiator, along with its fans, keeps the car cool while it is running. You should change it when it stops functioning. If you keep a faulty radiator for too long, you will have to deal with more serious problems in the future.

Look for Coolant Leaks

Last but not least, you should look for coolant leaks. Most of the time, this is the culprit for overheating the engine. There can be leaks under the car or on the surface of the coolant reservoir.

You can also identify a leak if the coolant level becomes low frequently or the temperature gauge shows abnormal readings.

The following video might be helpful if you want to prevent your car from getting overheated.

How To Prevent Your Car From Overheating In The First Place?

If you regularly adhere to some recommendations, you won’t ever have to deal with an overheating issue. This will help you avoid unexpected car issues and can save you a lot of repair costs. Here are some of the best tips

  1. Once you notice an overheating symptom, stop the car and let the engine cool.
  2. Keep a spare bottle of fresh antifreeze in your car’s trunk. Keeping a gallon of water alongside this won’t be bad.
  3. Tinted windows can keep the inside of the car cool. A car window shade can be an alternative to this.
  4. While driving, pay attention to the temperature gauge on the dashboard.
  5. Add coolant liquid when the level gets low.
  6. Request a mechanic to flush the radiator.
  7. Switch the air conditioner’s recirculation to fresh air.
  8. Check the coolant level frequently.
  9. Your vehicle should be parked in a covered area.
  10. Leave the windows slightly open when you park the car.
  11. You can also wrap a towel around the seats and the steering wheel.
  12. Replace the car battery once every year or two.

You May Also Read: What Does Battery Discharge Warning Mean?


Obviously, you have a few questions on your mind. Below, we address some of those questions that we have attempted to resolve.

How Do I Know if My Thermostat or Water Pump Is Bad?

If either the water pump or the thermostat is bad, then you will face engine overheating problems. The cooling system includes both the thermostat and the water pump, which control the coolant flow and maintain the car’s temperature.

How Long Can You Drive Your Car After It Starts Overheating Before It Becomes Too Dangerous?

To avoid major problems, you should not drive more than a quarter mile if the car overheats. But we advise you to stop the car right away and leave it parked in a safe spot away from the main road. Hook your car to a tow truck if you find one. Otherwise, take it to the nearest repair shop.

How Often Should You Have Your Car Serviced to Prevent Overheating in The First Place?

To prevent your car from overheating, you should bring it to the service center twice a year for diagnosis. It means that after driving 10,000 kilometers or every six months, you must take the car in for maintenance.

How Many Times Can an Engine Overheat?

Experts claim that there are no hard and fast limits on how many times an engine can overheat without sustaining damage or how far you can drive the car while it’s overheated.

A vehicle can sustain permanent damage from overheating in as little as 30 to 60 seconds. Therefore, when dealing with engine overheating, you shouldn’t wait for the circumstance to occur again.

Why Is My Car Overheating with No Coolant Leak?

Even if you notice there is no coolant leak, the car can overheat for various reasons. There can be a faulty thermostat or radiator issue.

The head gasket might also make the engine overheat if it doesn’t function properly. Also, the car may overheat because of clogged radiator hoses.

However, if you notice that your car isn’t overheating despite what the temperature gauge is indicating, it is better to diagnose the temperature gauge as well.


So, you should understand that there are valid reasons for your car to overheat and then go back to normal. If you are recently facing such problems, try to find out the possible reasons.

You should not waste any time because this can turn into a major problem, causing your engine to fail. Then, it would require plenty of money to fix. Worst case scenario, you may have to buy a new engine.

You can also bring your car to a service center if you can’t detect the reason why your car overheats and cools down again. Before this issue becomes more serious, you should take your car to a qualified mechanic at the earliest hour to avoid unnecessary repair costs.

Hi, I'm Luis Johnson, an automobile technician, and power equipment professional. By profession, I'm a businessman and operate a car workshop. I have created this site Batteryquery to help people purchase the right battery for their vehicles. The reason behind creating this site is to help my customers purchase the right car battery who often purchase the wrong one due to their lack of knowledge.

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