How to Fix an Overheating Car Engine for $5

How to Fix an Overheating Car Engine for $5


rev up your engines, today we’re gonna
try to figure out why this Nissan is overheating and like any car you got to
start somewhere there’s a dozen different reasons the
car can overheat, you got a pin pointed and the first thing is the most logical,
you pressure test the system and I got this new toy I can’t wait to try it out,
now to pressure test the system you take the radiator cap off, but unfortunately
there are a bunch of different sized radiator caps on cars nowadays, and
rather than buy every single adapter and there are dozens of them, this Pittsburgh
kit that I just got is cool, cuz it’s got a main adapter and then different sized
plungers that go in to seal the radiator so when you pump it up you see if
there’s a leak in the system, in this case it’s a small one that fits in, so we
put that inside here, it just spins in then the whole assembly goes over the
top and a little notches hold the side here and then you just spin the top here
until it gets tight, then you get the pump and attach it here and we pumped it
up to about 15 pounds we’ll let it sit and see if it loses pressure, patience is
indeed a virtue you wait five ten minutes see what happens to the pressure,
and in this case it really hasn’t lost any pressure so we know the system is
not leaking that it’s intact, and just in case those are really small like we’ll
look under see if it’s dripping anywhere from all that pressure, but now it’s not
dripping anywhere so it’s not leaking remember always start with the most
obvious things the pressure testers indispensable for finding overheating
problems start simple, so we’ll put the cap back on and do another test, we’ll
start up the car and let it warm up a little, well Check the
gauge and when it starts to get warm it should build some
pressure up, we’ll wait a few minutes until the gauge gets closer to the
middle, and while we’re waiting you will turn on the AC to see if the cooling fan
works, turn on the fan and put the AC on now you can hear the cooling fans are blowing
like mad so they’re working, so now that the temperature gauge is in the middle
that it’s warmed up, this should release some pressure when we release it, as you
can see it hasn’t released any pressure which means that the radiator cap is bad
it’s not sealing it, so we’re sticking on the new radiator cap and taking it for a
ride, because nothing beats road testing in a car when it’s overheating you have to,
do a highway drive and city driving do all the different parameters to see
if it’s gonna overheat again or whether it’s fixed, and well after half an hour
of driving no more overeating, so now it’s fixed well how does that work, your
radiator system is a pressurized system most of them are about 15 psi now, when I
was a young mechanic it was a lot less because the radiators were bigger, but
guess what bigger radiators cost more money to
build, so for ages they’ve made smaller radiators and they upped the pressure, so
if you have more pressure in a smaller radiator, it can do the same cooling as a
bigger radiator that has less pressure in it, but of course with modern cars if you
do lose pressure on the radiator cap and it’s not holding the correct pressure,
the car will overheat faster because it won’t have enough pressure to keep the
temperature from getting too high and then steam will start escaping from
where it’s not holding pressure, and it will lose coolant through steam and
eventually it’ll just bubble all the coolant out when it starts to boil, so
you want to make sure your radiator system is holding pressure, the pressure
tester that shows that the system itself on the vehicle is holding pressure, and
the cap itself that’s the ultimate sealer on top of it, if it’s bad you lose
pressure and it will overheat, so nowadays it’s probably not a bad idea every three
or four years just put another radiator cap and stick it on your radiator when
the engine is cold, so you can prevent from happening, because they are
spring-loaded the springs wear out, the rubber gets corroded, they do eventually
wear out and they don’t cost that much money and you might also want to take my
advice, this is an aftermarket cap that was on this old Nissan, I put a factory
cap on, the factory ones are generally much better made, sometimes the
aftermarket ones, hey I’ve had them not work right out of a box, so now you know
how to diagnose and repair your car when it starts to overheat, so if you never
want to miss another one of my new car repair videos, remember to ring that Bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

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  2. Hey Old Timer!…You make me proud to be old and wise. I will be trying all these ingenious methods you recommend… Pressure testing and also a New Pressure releasing radiator Cap…Just to let you now….another older timer led me to your channel ! We need guys like you to show the youngsters how it's all done !

  3. Hello, i have a 1991 Honda Accord that runs three or four blocks and then it turns off. I am left in the middle of the street, in front of happy horn blower, and stranded. The light is green and i start it again, oh my goodness it starts running for another three to four blocks. By now im back home calling someone to give me a lift. PLEASE HELP ME!!!

  4. Thank you Scotty Kilmer from a recent subscriber. I get the benefit of your experience and knowledge base everyday, and am grateful!

  5. Hello every one . Can I ask a question. My other half like the mitsubishi lancer . 1.6 petrol . I need help I know nothing of these cars. 2006.

  6. From my experience working on cars a Ford Taurus over heats because it's a Ford Taurus. Don't bring your Ford Taurus anywhere near me. I'm a "backyard mechanic" due to the fact certified mechanics overcharge and are generally dishonest. Necessity is the mother of invention and backyard mechanics. The internet helps too, especially when you got helpful tips from Scotty.

  7. Scotty, i have a check engine light on my 2009 camry se 4cyl. 155k miles. The code that came up is p0441. What can that mean? A number of things or The Purge Control Valve?
    And how much to get it replaced from a mechanic?

  8. hard to believe it's caused by something that look so innocuous. it makes me wonder if i got ripped off by the mechanic that charged me $500 for repairing overheating problem since i wasn't able to see any leak in the radiator when my car overheated and i noticed something fell off the cap when i took it off.

  9. Smaller cheaply built radiators with higher pressure = More problems/breakdowns, yet the car is 3 times more expensive but 3 times less the quality.

  10. Sir, you have a witness! Two days ago my car overheated with signs as you described. I saw this video in my lineup and watched yesterday afternoon. Today bought a new radiator cap. Put it on and no more overheating! (But my cooling fan did not come on : / ) should I check that out somehow? You are doing a great service for people. Thank you. : )

  11. Scotty I need your help desperately i have a 2002 Lexus es300 ( same as your wife's) I have owned the car for a year and every so many months my car over heats randomly no visable leaks pressure tested and hold pressure and block tested fine with no exhaust gas in the coolant system upon noticing it I checked the water every day I drew a link on the tank and it didn't change for days of driving at least 50 miles each then days of not checking it the level will drop around half a can soda in amount so not alot but over time what could it be if everything inside is apparently in working condition only 120k

  12. Sounds like the most logical thing in my case, as I just got the radiator replaced and new hoses installed. Thank you Scotty!! You're the best!

  13. Thanks Scotty, I have not had to look up your videos for current car problems but I watch periodically to chip away at my ignorance of cars.

  14. No….. the FIRST thing….before you pressure test the system….is open the radiator cap and SEE IF IT HAS COOLANT. C'mon maestro Scotty…… also, an old cap may have lost it's pressure spring rating….needs to keep the system at 15 psig (or so) pressure. Anything less and closer to atmospheric….it'll overheat. Oh…and that "hot" test you did, where you simply unscrewed the cap and found no pressure? Caution: for those cars that still HAVE pressure, you can scald yourself….open it with a rag under your hand !!!

  15. hey! i have a funny issue with my car doors. the driver side is used to lock all doors but all except the passenger side door locks. And when I try locking all doors from the passenger side, all except the driver side door, gets locked . Can you please make a video on the door locks in car ? Thank you:D

  16. forgive my ignorance, but why can't I just check the floor under the car for leakage instead of using the Cooling system pressure cap tester? thank you for your time

  17. Hey Scotty I'm looking for my first car, I want a manual and preferably rwd, thinking either ford mustang or Acura TL but maybe you had other recommendations. Budget is 6500 -8000 thinking something from 04-07

  18. Hi scotty Kilmer I am just wondering if you would know if the front brake pads and brake disks and the rear brake drums and rear shoes off a 1991 Toyota Corolla seca are compatible with a 1987 AE82 Toyota Corolla hatchback as a seller is selling them brand new and I'm considering in buying them if they are compatible

  19. Hey Scotty, can you make a video on the best non-exotic sports cars to buy in terms of smoothness, power, and reliability?

  20. Hey Scotty Cody from Texas. I got a 2014 Toyota Highlander and my stick is not wanting to go into drive, any thought on the issue

  21. Is it just me or is this video the only video I’ve seen Scotty not as pumped as in other videos ?? I.E he isn’t screaming as much…..kinda worried 😨

  22. Hi Scott, I have a similar Nissan Sentra. It overheated on me a few years ago. I replaced the radiator, water temp sensor, and the two thermostats. Now I have a problem. My temperature gauge will jump whenever I run over bumps. Can you help? Thanks!

  23. Scotty, am planning to purchase a used truck soon, 2018 Tundra SR5, 2018 F-150 XLT, or possibly 2018 Tacoma SR5 or sport. My priorities for purchase are ordered as follows: 1) long-term overall reliability (10-15 yrs, 150k+ miles minimum), 2) passenger room in front/back, and 3) fuel economy.
    What’s your recommendation? Also, what have you seen on actual fuel economy estimates for Tundra 4.6 vs F150 3.3v6?

  24. Scotty, what’s the best way to improve the fuel economy on 2018 Tundra 4.6L V8? Driving methods, computer chips, etc??

  25. Remember this folks..temperature and pressure are directly related. The higher the pressure the higher the temperature!

  26. And how about the psi?i bought one that was 1.3 but the stock was 1.0 i think..is better or worse the more psi?

  27. This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. To fix an overheating engine is really easy, all you have to do is put some ice cubes in through the oil port on the engine. Trust me, these mechanics just want to scam you, but I'm here to help you out with quick, easy, and cheap fixes 👌🏼

  28. Hey Scotty, I'm about to begin a rebuild on my 4th generation 88 Ford Bronco XLT with the 5.8L/ 351 Windsor motor and the C6 transmission. I love the truck but want to get better gas mileage. Is entertaining the idea of swapping the C6 for the ZF5 worth traveling my thoughts or is it silly? I'm sure their are other ways of improving MPG's. Hoping my kids love the truck to pass down to them. Huge thanks in advance and love the channel. Keep up the great work!

  29. Good advice, i had this issue on a 2014 Mitsubishi. After a long day of driving my temp shot up and i pulled over to find coolant everywhere with no leaks. Turned out the cap spring just wore down too much allowing the coolant to bypass to the overflow.

  30. Tells it like it is …. Sad part is I did that one day and some ignorant customer got mad …. Just keep it to yourself …. Never turned a wrench

  31. Scotty, can you do this same test with a vehicle that just has a reservoir tank and not a radiator cap?

  32. Scotty, I have a question, if the gauge indicator says is in the half between H and C, isn't dangerous open the cap in that temperature???????

  33. This go out to everyone so I have a 2005 Highlander Toyota that I Just bought Use But before I bought I checked out the Engine. But my problem is That in Winter time When I try to put hot air I would get cold air So I would have to dialed it like in old radio To see if I can get some Hot Going. I called in to Auto zone I got device to To cool down the car AndTake the radiation cap off You to car warm up To see if the air or lepri out I wanna see if anybody has done that

  34. You can test the radiator cap on the same pressure tester, you just need an adapter. 🤔🙄😊
    You cheap bastard. 🙄😊 The radiator is pressurized to increase the boiling point of the water/ antifreeze mixture. It doesn't help with cooling much beyond keeping things from boiling. Which does help cooling.

  35. What if it needs a radiator or water pump. A lot of things can cause a car to over heat and cost more than 5 bucks. Come on Scotty.

  36. Your photos kill me. Aftermarket caps such as this one, which I do like usually, can be bought with the incorrect PSI value since they do vary. The cap might not be bad, just not the right PSI.

  37. what if your a.c doesn't work….cars hi temp guage is about a quarter up, but hi temp sensor comes on,replaced fan and waterpump,as well as so many other part ,but i don't here the fan ever come on but if the a.c doesn't work'is that the reason the fans not coming on?….1991 oldsmobile cutlass ciera 143,996 miles well maintained miles

  38. My issue was the fan clutch. Never would have expected. Just because the fan is spinning that does not mean it's spinning hard enough.

  39. I remember when I first got my old Porsche 944, it would overheat a lot. Turned out to be the radiator cap. Was thw wrong pressure cap. So steam was building up in cooling system. Put a factory OEM cap on and no more boil over and never had a overheat problem again..

  40. Hey Scotty, by any chance do you remember some company that was selling sheets for putting under cars to diagnose leak problems? Any idea what happened with that??

  41. Can somebody please help me understand why my engine overheats all of a sudden after a (side) bumper collision followed by a paint job? The radiator sections was uneffected, so not really sure what's causing my engine bay to overheat to an extend that I couldn't even lift up the hood prop rod. The engine heat gauge inside the dash looks normal though. And about the paint job, the unskillful people seems to have failed to cover the radiator while painting. I can see small amount of paints sprayed over the radiator fins. Maybe that's the reason? Thanks for helping 🙂

  42. This video is a disaster waiting to happen. He failed to note that you should never remove the cap while hot because it may not be the only issue and your cap could be functional and you'll find yourself in hospital fighting for your life.

  43. sir. it is not clear the tester you are using is fit for all caps or adopters are needed besides the tester. I hope you will clear it.

  44. My car (pontiac grand am gt 2003) overheats about every month or so randomly kicks all its fluid in it any idea why and what it could be ?

  45. Hello Scott, I've got a 2009 Subaru Forester, the 2.0 N/A DOHC version. Generally it does not overheat, neither in city traffic nor in the highway, BUT it has occurred to me approximately 4 times (2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019) that the car wanted to overheat for a large part of the trip (2014,2017) with the red light appearing 2-3 times, had just the red light on momentarily (2016) or had the tendency to overheat but no red light (2019). In incidents 2014,2016 and 2019 I slowed down and tried to keep temps down. In the last incident (2019) I had new radiator, new cap, new coolant, new t-stat. And taking into account that 2014,2017,2019 happened in ex-Yugoslav soil or with yugoslav fuel, could it be that it has some relation to it? Maybe ethanol in fuel causing it run lean?
    As a side note the system has been pressure tested, no signs of leakage, tech says that 2009 did not have HG problems like the older 2.5 american engines.
    So, any idea of why this might be happening ?

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