First, all the time carry an additional bottle of coolant (also called antifreeze) in your automobile, as well as a jug of water. Engines usually overheat as a result of the coolant’s low, so topping it up will usually clear up the problem. Failing that, water can even quickly do the trick. Plus, that water may very well be a lifesaver on long, sweltering summer season drives. Simply don’t drink it all.
If you see the temperature gauge creeping into the purple or a notification mild glowing, instantly turn off your air conditioner (since the AC puts a whole lot of pressure on your engine). Roll the home windows down to chill off the best way nature intended.
If the issue persists, crank your heater as much as full blast. It may make the following few miles a pretty brutal expertise, but the switch of warmth away from the engine might just save its life.
Should the previous steps fail, pull over as quickly as you can. Flip off the engine. In case you can pop the hood from the driver’s seat, do so - however don’t danger opening it by hand till the engine has cooled, especially in case you see steam wafting off the engine. It sometimes takes a solid 30 minutes for an engine to cool down enough for it to be protected to handle. When you’d moderately let a professional deal with the problem, it’s time to call for a tow truck
As soon as the engine has cooled, test the coolant tank. It’s normally a translucent plastic tank close to the radiator. If the coolant tank is empty, you might have sprung a leak. Take a fast look under the car. If you notice a drip or puddle, chances are high the coolant tank is leaking.
In case you do have a leak, carefully open the radiator cap. Place a material over the radiator cap to guard your hand, and tilt the cap away from you because it opens. Refill the cooled radiator together with your spare coolant or water. Don't pour cold water into a nonetheless-scorching radiator - it may cause the engine block to crack because of the sudden change in temperature. If you absolutely have so as to add water whereas the engine is still heat, pour slowly while the engine is operating in neutral or park.
Notice that almost all automobiles require a 50/50 mix of coolant with water to forestall overheating, so you gained’t have the ability to drive indefinitely with nothing but water. In the event you don’t have coolant readily available when your automotive overheats, be certain so as to add a comparable amount of coolant as quickly as possible.
If the coolant tank is full, the issue may be electrical or mechanical in nature, in which case a tow to the nearest restore store is unquestionably in order. A leaking hose, worn or damaged fan belt, bad water pump, or malfunctioning thermostat will be the culprit.
What to do if you’re in traffic
Being in traffic when your automobile begins to overheat could make the scenario that much more stressful. But it surely’s important that you let your cooler head prevail and comply with these tips:
If you’re stopped in traffic, put the automobile in neutral or park and rev the engine a bit. This can encourage water and air move by means of the radiator, helping to cool it.
For those who’re in cease-and-go visitors, purpose to creep slightly than alternating between braking and accelerating. Braking generates a lot of friction, which will solely turn up the heat.
If the needle’s within the crimson
It’s not frequent for contemporary cars to overheat, and it’s by no means a great thing, no matter your automobile’s age. In the event you find that your automotive often gets a bit sizzling below the hood, it’s in all probability an indication of a bigger drawback, so consult your repair shop or trusted auto expert.
In the summertime …
Maintain the livin’ simple by keeping an eye on the temperature gauge, bottles of water and coolant in the again (and possibly even this list in your glove compartment). You don’t desire a volcanically hot engine ruining your summer time road journey - or worse yet, your engine.