What Do I Do If My Car Overheats?

August 29th, 2018 by

Sure the summer may be coming to an end, but New England is still experiencing a heat wave! Hopefully it’s been smooth sailing for most of you this summer, but some of us may not have been so lucky.

 

As temperatures rise, your engines temperature may rise as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind if your car overheats:

  1. Keep extra coolant in your vehicle. Most engines overheat due to a lack of coolant. (Also, be sure to get the right brand if your vehicle requires a specific kind!)
  2. Believe it or not, your vehicle’s air conditioning can cause the engine to overheat. If you see an engine overheating light on your dashboard, be sure to turn OFF your AC.
  3. Going off tip #2, if the warning light does not go away- turn ON your heat. This may sound crazy, but the heat blowing away from the engine actually helps it.
  4. If you have to pull over, wait for your engine to cool down before checking it. Then, check the coolant tank to see if it’s empty. If it’s empty, chances are you may have sprung a leak. You’ll then need to open the radiator cap and refill it with your spare coolant. One of the main reasons engines overheat is due to a leak in the cooling system!
  5. Be sure to avoid pouring the coolant into a still-hot radiator. Please wait for your engine to cool down!
  6. If you check the coolant tank and it’s not empty, the problem may be mechanical or electrical. This could be anything such as a bad water pump, a leaking hose, a worn or broken fan belt, etc. In this case- get your car towed to your closest shop or dealer!

 

References

Affordable Auto Service. Common Reasons Your Car Overheats. August 2018.

Burlington Automotive. Warmer Weather is Here! Learn What to Do if Your Car Overheats. August 2018.

Williams, John. Esurance Insurance Services Inc. What To Do if Your Car Overheats: 5 Must-Know Steps. August 2018.