Overheating is one of the worst situations that a driver can be in. This can happen more often when the mercury outside rises. It’s crucial to be well-prepared when this happens. Here are tips of what to do when your car is overheating:
- Have coolant or water on hand. Always keep an extra bottle of coolant (also known as antifreeze) in your car. Car engines tend to overheat as a result of low coolant. If you don’t have any coolant, water serves as a substitute temporarily. The water cold also be handy if you’re on a hot road trip, so don’t drink it all at once.
- Pay attention to the temperature gauge. When the temperature gauge has a notification light or turns red, turn off your air conditioner right away. (The AC adds stress to the engine.) Then, roll down the windows to cool the engine naturally.
- Turn up the heater. If the problem continues, turn up the heater at its highest temperature. This transfer the heat away from the engine, and may save it from replacement.
- Pull your car over. If the previous steps fail to quell the issue, pull your car over, and turn off the engine. Pop the hood open from the driver’s seat. (Don’t do this by hand until the engine has taken some time to cool. It take approximately half an hour for it to do so.) Call a tow truck if you’re more comfortable getting assistance from a professional.
- Check the coolant tank. After the engine has finished cooling, check the coolant tank. It’s a plastic container near the radiator. If it’s empty, that means it’s leaking, and needs to be filled with water or coolant. If it’s full, it may be a mechanical problem, and requires the help of a professional.
Overheating doesn’t always happen due to rinsing temps outside, there could be bigger problems like a thermostat, radiator leak or a hose. Take your car to a garage if problems persist.