As soon as your engine starts overheating, there are a couple steps you need to take immediately to minimize potential damage.
Immediately turn off the A/C, turn on the defroster with your heat to HOT and fan on high. This can help prevent thousands of dollars of damage! Turning on the heater may feel uncomfortable in the heat of summer, but this will help pull as much heat out of your engine as it can. Roll down the windows to help you stay comfortable.
Pull over to a safe location and turn off the engine. If you’re stuck in traffic, put your car in neutral or park and raise the engine speed by pressing on the gas pedal. You want to raise the RPM’s to about 2000-ish. By raising the engine speed, you’re trying to get the engine circulating as much as coolant possible.
Get off the road ASAP and call for help. Don’t even think about touching the radiator cap while you’re waiting for a tow truck. This can release a geyser of hot coolant that can do a lot of damage – and hurt a lot!
If you don’t have roadside assistance available to you – be patient! It can take at least 15 minutes for the engine to cool. Don’t open the hood until at least 15 minutes have passed. Once the hood is cool to the touch, open the hood, locate the radiator cap, and add coolant. If the temperature gauge goes back to normal, you can begin to drive again. Proceed with caution and make sure to get your car to a mechanic asap.
You can usually avoid engine overheating with regular maintenance by a certified mechanic. Make sure to have your car’s coolant levels, oil levels, hoses, fans, and thermostat checked regularly. Here are some common reasons your car’s cooling system may begin to fail:
Other causes of engine overheating can include a bad thermostat, a bad radiator, a bad radiator fan, a bad water pump, or loose/broken belts.
An overheating vehicle is a sign that needs immediate attention. In most cases the original cause is a simple, low-cost repair. Unfortunately, most people ignore the initial problem and end up paying much more for extensive damage as a result.
If your vehicle is showing signs of overheating, be sure to give us a call today and we’ll be happy to test and assess the vehicle, provide the proper service and repairs and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.