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Do’s and Don’ts When Your Car Overheats

Do’s and Don’ts When Your Car Overheats

Engines are like any other auto parts. It is subject to issues like overheating It can overheat for many reasons. Generally, it might be due to an issue in the cooling system and there is no escape from the heat. It may also be due to a cooling system leak, faulty radiator fan, broken water pump, or clogged coolant hose. Irrespective of the source, an overheating engine is a serious issue and need to be checked immediately. Here are a few things to do when you find that your car is overheating.

  1. Stop the A/C

    Promptly turn off the air conditioner to decrease the stress on the engine. This can help the engine from overheating until you can stop the car to a safe location. You might feel the heat especially on the host summers, but this discomfort is extremely low comparing to the price you have to pay for major engine repairs.

  2. Find a Safe Place to Stop Your Car

    Find a safe spot to stop your car and shut off the car. For at least 15min wait for the engine to cool down completely. Closely monitor the temperature gauge, as it should move back to a normal range once the engine cools down.  While you are waiting think of a plan to get your car checked. You may call a friend or a tow truck or a wayside workshop owner for help.

  3. Check and Add Coolant (If you have it)

    If the coolant level has gone down, a fast top up might help your engine and prevent another overheating incident until you can get the thing fixed. But this might give you relief if the coolant hose is clogged or if it is due to a broken radiator fan and water pump. Check the car’s owner manual to find the location of your coolant reservoir tank and to know how to add coolant to your vehicle.

  4. Restart the Engine

    If the temperature has cooled down and you are confident enough restart your engine and drive to the closest auto repair shop. Closely monitor the temperature gauge as you drive. If there is any increase, stop the car at a safe spot ASAP. 

Things to Avoid When Your Engine Overheats

  1. Breathe. Do not Panic

    There is nothing to panic. Stop the car at a safe spot immediately. Avoid swerving the car or slamming the brakes while stopping the car.

  2. Do not Keep Driving

    Driving with an overheated engine might not be a good idea because this may cause significant damage to your engine and might dig a hole in your pocket.

  3. Do not Try Opening the Hood Immediately

    Once you have stopped the car, wait for the engine before pry opening the hood to check things out. Although opening the hood would the immediate response try not to because it might cause serious burns or injuries from the smoke or steam. Kindly wait until the engine cools down.

  4. Solve the Issue Immediately

    An overheating engine might not vanish on its own, even if it seems to be solved after pouring some coolant. Leaving the issue unaddressed will only worsen the situation. Get to the root of it or else you are at the risk of damaging the engine permanently.


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