In the summer whether you’re going on a road trip, heading to a friend’s/relative’s house or just driving around enjoying the weather, the temperatures are hotter than ever! An overheated car can cause some serious long-term damage to your car’s engine, so let’s walk through some of the solutions to overheated cars and some preventative measures you can take!
- Steam or water vapor leaking from the hood of the car
- Your temperature gauge is over the acceptable point (in the red)
- There is a smell coming from the engine
Overheating Car – On the Road
- Keep an eye on your temperature gauge, and if you see that it is creeping into the red zone or your notification light has come on, immediately roll down your windows and turn your A/C off.
- Air Conditioning puts a lot of stress on the engine, so turning it off will give it time to cool off a bit.
- If rolling down the windows didn’t do anything, brace yourself because you’re going to have to turn up the heat.
- This will allow the engine to push out the hot air currently in the engine – the next few minutes might seem like hours, but it just might save the condition of your engine!
PRO TIP: Try not to brake too often because the repeated acceleration and braking causes a lot of stress on the engine. Rather, if stuck in standstill traffic, proceed slowly by idling or accelerating when absolutely necessary.
- If 1 & 2 did not make any effect to the temperature gauge/overheating, pullover, put your car in N or park, and pop the hood from the driver’s seat. Allow the engine to cool off for about 30 minutes before inspecting the issue visually because the hood will be extremely hot.
- If you do not feel comfortable with handling this situation call a tow truck.
- Check your engine coolant under your vehicle’s hood and make sure that it is at a sufficient level. Make sure that the car has been off for 30 minutes before checking. Many cars have a translucent white plastic container that carries the engine coolant so it is not invasive to check the levels at all.
- As long as you can visibly see the level of coolant near the top of the container, then it is acceptable.
- If you find that your engine coolant is leaking, you may need to replace your radiator.
- Keep engine coolant and a jug of water in your car just in case of an overheating incident
*If there does not seem to be any problem with your car, but your car is still overheating, there is most likely an electrical issue and you should take your car to a mechanic for further diagnostics.