What To Do (And Not Do) When Your Car Overheats

Auto Repair

There is nothing more frustrating than cruising down the open road and suddenly your engine begins to smoke. You pull off to the side of the road and realize that your car is overheating. It is vital that you know what to do when your car overheats, as well as what not to do.

Why Is My Car Overheating?

There are many different reasons that can cause a vehicle to overheat. Typically, it is due to the fact that there is something wrong with your cooling system but there are other factors that can play a role. Generally speaking, when heat is not able to escape from the engine compartment, it can lead to the vehicle overheating. What causes an engine to overheat could be a faulty radiator fan, a leak in the cooling system, a clogged or cracked coolant hose, a blown gasket, or a broken water pump.

Regardless of the cause of the issue, if your car running hot, don’t just overlook the problem. If your car keeps overheating, it could lead to serious engine damage that may be permanent.

What To Do When Your Car Overheats?

As soon as you realize that your car is overheating, it is important to take the necessary steps to cool the engine as quickly as possible. Follow these tips to prevent irreversible damage:

  • Turn off the air conditioner and turn on the heat until you can pull over the car. This will allow air to circulate through the system and dissipate some of the heat.
  • Pull over and turn the car off for a minimum of 15 minutes while you watch the temperature gauge. For most vehicles, this may require that you turn your ignition to the accessory mode.
  • Once the engine has cooled, check the coolant level and top it off if it is low. If the car is overheating but has coolant, it is probably a circulation problem. Never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot. It may take several hours for your engine to cool.

What Not To Do When Your Car Overheats?

It is just as important to know what not to do when your car is overheating, for example:

  • Do not panic, swerve through traffic, stop in random places or on the street, or slam on the brakes. Pullover to the side of the road or a parking lot when available.
  • Do not keep driving if you notice signs of the radiator overheating. This can cause further damage to your vehicle.
  • Do not open the hood until you have given the engine adequate time to cool.
  • Do not ignore the problem. The experts at Champs Family Automotive know how to fix an overheating car at an affordable price.

If your car is overheating, do not hesitate to contact Champs Family Automotive immediately for help!