You will always need to keep a keen eye on the engine temperature of your truck. The temperature gauge will display a range in which it’s fine for the engine to operate. If the gauge gets above these levels, your engine is in danger of overheating. When this happens, you need to troubleshoot the problem in order to prevent it from doing damage to your truck. Many problems are easy to rectify once you have identified them. Taking a few minutes to find the problem can end up saving you a lot of money and time.
The very first thing to check when you have an engine temperature problem with your truck is the coolant level. Open the hood and check the coolant reservoir. It will have two marks on it for maximum and minimum coolant levels. When your engine is cool, see how high the coolant is in the reservoir. If it’s abnormally low or below the minimum level, fill up to maximum line and run your truck so see if the temperature rises above the acceptable level.
Radiator hoses can regularly develop pinholes and coolant can disappear through them. If your coolant is low, you should also inspect your hoses after you’ve refilled the reservoir, with the engine is running, to see if there are any leaks. Check the clamps holding the hoses in place and tighten them if necessary. Inspect the hoses regularly as they can rot over time. Always replace them if necessary.
There could be a problem with the cooling fan that’s causing high engine temperature levels in your truck. If the fan isn’t coming on, you’ll need to determine the cause behind this. It could be in the wiring, the relay or the temperature sensor. You can easily test the wiring with a voltmeter. You should also check the appropriate fuse to make sure it hasn’t blown; this is a very common cause of the fan not working.
Clogged radiators don’t happen that often but when they do, the temperature in your truck will rocket up as the coolant can’t circulate to keep your engine cool. The simplest way to check if your radiator is clogged is to wait until your engine is cool then open the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator.
If the coolant drains out freely (always drain into a bucket, not onto the ground), your radiator isn’t clogged. If the coolant doesn't disperse freely, your radiator is most likely clogged. You’ll need to take it to a garage to be fixed or replaced unless you're happy doing the task yourself.
A stuck thermostat could also be the reason behind the high engine temperature in your truck. There is a very simple way to check the thermostat and this can be achieved by removing it and putting it in a bucket of hot water. If the thermostat opens, it’s won't be stuck and won't be the problem. This only takes a few minutes and is the cheapest way of checking operation without replacing the thermostat. You can also use a non-contact infrared thermometer if you have one available.