Nowadays, cars are being designed to a point where you shouldn’t need to worry about it overheating. However, despite having a well-tuned car, even they can overheat if put in the right circumstances. In most situations, overheating occurs on hot days, when you are in “stop and start traffic” or on steep, hilly terrain. This guide helps explain what to do if your car begins to overheat.
Take The Pressure Of Your Engine
Overheating is most common when your engine is performing a lot of work, especially in hot temperatures. If you are in traffic, slowly advance without accelerating quickly, and try to only move at a controlled speed. If you are climbing hilly terrain, consider lowering your speed, and coasting on downhills.
Turn Off The AC and Open The Windows
If you see a temperature warning on your dashboard, the first thing you should do is turn off your air conditioning system, and open your windows. Turning off your air conditioning creates less pressure on your engine, heat-wise.
Vent The Air Out Of Your Engine
If your dashboard is still displaying a temperature warning sign, then another possible option is to turn on your heater and fan to high (by fan, we mean the blowing strength of your climate control system.) Although this may make you hot, venting the excess heat of the engine to the passenger compartment may help your engine.
Pull Over To The Shoulder Of The Road And Wait
The time-tested method for dealing with overheating - just wait for you engine to cool off! If your engine is still overheating after implementing the previous actions, then pull over to the shoulder, pop your hood up, and wait for the temperature warning to disappear. You may want to wait a few minutes after the temperature warning has disappeared to continue driving, as your engine could easily overheat again if you let it cool to its bare minimum operating temperature.
Engine overheating can be caused by mechanical issues, as well. Low coolant levels can contribute to overheating. You should NEVER fill coolant while the car is hot, though, since the system can be under pressure and you might scald yourself. When at home, wait for the engine to cool to an acceptable level, then fill the coolant system with an appropriate volume of antifreeze. Another cause could be a faulty thermostat, which you can get checked out a licensed mechanic.
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