Why Does My Car Overheat in Stop & Go Traffic Service FAQ serving San Francisco, CA
Subaru overheat during stop and go traffic service FAQ

Why Does My Car Overheat in Stop-&-Go Traffic? Find Out in the San Francisco Bay Area

Get answers about overheating during stop and go traffic

If your car is overheating in stop-and-go traffic, but is not doing so on the highway, it's a good indication that there's a problem with the cooling fan. Modern cars are equipped with an electric radiator fan that moves air through the radiator and cools down the antifreeze inside. When traveling at higher speeds, there is enough airflow across the radiator that the fan typically isn't necessary. That's why the engine temperature rises when you're stuck in traffic.

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Learn why you should service your Subaru if it overheats

What Could Be Wrong With Your Radiator Cooling Fan?

Older vehicles were equipped with a mechanical fan driven by the engine with a belt. A problem with this type of engine cooling fan typically comes down to the belt or the fan clutch. It's easy to tell if the belt is OK, and the fan clutch can usually be checked by gauging how difficult the fan is to turn by hand when the engine is off. However, modern electric fans are a different story. They're easier to diagnose since you only need to look at it when the engine is running and the vehicle is in Park. Once the engine warms up, the fan will either kick on or not. If it doesn't start spinning, something's wrong.

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Is it Easy to Fix Problems with Subaru Electric Cooling Fans?

For the factory-trained technicians at your local dealer, it's usually a quick and easy fix to get a cooling fan up and running as it should. However, it often proves a bit more difficult for the average DIY mechanic. That's because specialized tools and a detailed understanding of automotive electrical systems may be required. The matter could be as simple as a bad fuse, or as difficult as a hidden short somewhere in the wiring harness. It may also be that the fan's electric motor simply went out.

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Are There Any Other Reasons My Car Might Overheat in Traffic?

The cooling system for the Subaru BOXER® engine is impressively efficient and reliable. However, there are components in this system the will need to be replaced as a part of recommended maintenance. If things like the coolant, thermostat, drive belt, or even oil changes are neglected, the engine could run hot. To prevent such inconveniences and others, we recommend setting up a regular Subaru maintenance schedule with an authorized dealer.

With our expert technicians and comfortable lounge, Carlsen Subaru is proud to be your source for Subaru service in Redwood City, California.

Carlsen Subaru

480 Veterans Blvd
Directions Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Sales: 650-365-6390
  • Service : 650-365-6390
  • Parts: 650-365-6390
  1. Carlsen Subaru

    480 Veterans Blvd
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    • Sales: (888) 520-5916

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