While every vehicle and situation differ from case to case, there are a few signs to be aware of when you experience a car overheating:
· Steam which looks like smoke rising from the hood. The engine temperature gauge in the dashboard or driver console rising to “H” or moving into the red area of the gauge.
· Strange smells coming from the front of the car, especially near the hood. Leaking coolant can often have a pleasant odour, while oil leaks will typically have a burnt stench.
1. Turn on the Heater
Although it sounds counterintuitive, many mechanics suggest that you turn on the heater. It takes off heat away from the engine and into the passenger compartment, reducing the burden on the engine’s cooling system. In a few cases, that could suffice to reverse the overheating. If the warning lights goes off or the temperature gauge returns to normal you will know that it is working.
2. Pull Over
If you still experience overheating, even after you have been driving for a few minutes with the heater on, stop over and off the engine- it is the safest and guaranteed way to cool the engine. And this is the best time to call for roadside assistance as you might need to tow your vehicle.
3. Be Patient
If you don’t have any roadside assistance, patiently wait for 15minutes for the engine to cool down.
Meanwhile never attempt to open the hood because the coolant in the overheated car may be more than 230 degrees and you may risk scalding your face.
4. Add Coolant
After 15minutes and the hood is cool enough to touch, open the hood wearing gloves and find the radiator cap (you can consult the owner’s manual if necessary). Cover the cap with a cloth and slowly press down and loosen it a bit so that the buildup pressure as a result of coolant expansion can be released.
Then fully open the radiator cap and slowly pour coolant- half water, halt antifreeze- upto the full line. Coolant should be poured also to the small, clear plastic overflow reservoir mounted to the side of the radiator. Then replace the cap and switch on the engine.
“If the temperature gauge is back to normal or the red warning light goes out, you will have to tread with caution while regularly watching over the temperature gauge or light”.
5. Drive to a Service Station
Pouring coolant does nothing to address the issue that resulted in car overheating, but it often allows you to have safe driving to your next repair station. While driving, also is watchful of the temperature gauge and be wary of everything, like fluid under the car or steam under the hood. If you need emergency services or need to change the car spare parts you should go ahead with that. Temporary solutions will never help you for long-term running.