4 Steps To Take When Your Car Overheats
On a day when it is 73 degrees outside, the inside of a car can heat up to 100 degrees in mere 25 minutes. And it’s not even moving yet. So, what happens when your car overheats on a hot day?
Well, for starters, you’re deserted on the side of the road. Your engine is smoking, hissing, and steaming. You’re sweating bullets, and you have no idea what to do. To avoid getting in this iconic out-of-a-horror movie scene, read along.
Why Does A Car Overheat?
Vehicle engines can overheat for various reasons. In general, it’s due to a problem with the cooling system, which prevents heat from escaping the engine compartment. A leak in the cooling system, broken radiator fan, failing water pump, or clogged coolant hose may be sources of the problem.
Regardless of the cause, an overheated motor is something you don’t want to allow to linger for long.
Signs The Engine is Overheating:
If you can take preventative measures to keep your engine cool before it reaches the point of failure, you’ll lower your chances of causing irreparable engine damage. But first, you must be aware of the signs of overheating, which include:
- Steam rising from beneath the hood
- An unusually high-temperature gauge reading
- A check engine light related to the cooling system
- Engine sputtering or stalling
Taking Action When Your Engine Overheats:
Luckily, you can do certain things to help an overheated engine. The key is to stay calm and think smart.
1. Kill the A/C and Crank the Heat
Turn off the air conditioner to minimize stress on the engine. Then, dial up to maximum heat. It can assist in removing heat from the engine and preventing it from overheating until you can pull over to the side in a safe area.
You may feel uncomfortably hot in the process, but a few minutes of discomfort are worth paying compared to major engine repairs.
2. Locate a Safe Spot to Pull Over
Your engine needs to rest; it’s burnout. It’s essential to find a safe place to pull over as soon as possible. Once you’re off the road, turn off your engine and pop the hood.
If you’re on the highway, try to get to an exit ramp or shoulder. If you’re driving in town, look for a parking lot or side street away from traffic.
3. Check and Up The Coolant:
It is the moment of truth for car owners who have neglected their maintenance. If your coolant is low, now’s the time to add more.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your car serviced and you’re not sure about the state of your coolant, it might be best to call a tow truck or roadside assistance.
4. Let The Engine Cool:
You should give your engine at least 30 minutes to cool down before starting it again. If you can’t wait that long, try running the air conditioner for a few minutes with the engine off to help speed up the process.
5. Start Slow:
When you’re ready to start driving again, take it slow. Avoid using Cruise Control, and don’t put too much strain on the engine by accelerating too quickly.
If your car starts to overheat again, pull over and call for help.
If you ever get unlucky and your car overheats on the side of the road, don’t panic. Remember to turn off the engine, let it cool down, and call for help. The next best thing to do is bring your car to Lakeland Genesis, serving Kissimmee, FL, for a checkup.
Our expert technicians excel at servicing vehicles of all sorts and will have your vehicle running like new in no time.
Contact us or schedule an appointment online today.