What to Do If Your Car Overheats
Cars overheat most often in very hot weather. It’s a rare event with modern vehicles, but even a well-tuned automobile can overheat. If you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic or climbing a steep grade on an extremely hot day, and your dashboard temperature indicator starts to rise or an engine fault indicator light comes on, here’s how to help your vehicle regain its cool:
1.) At the first sign of overheating, shut off your air conditioner and open your windows
Doing so decreases the load on the engine and helps it cool off.
2.) If you continue to overheat, turn on the heater and blower:
Doing so transfers the heat from the engine to the passenger compartment of the vehicle. (This does wonders for your overheated engine but very little for you!).
3.) If you’re stopped in traffic and the temperature gauge is rising, shift into Neutral or Park and rev the engine a little:
Doing so makes the water pump and the fan speed up, which draws more liquid and air through the radiator. The increased air and liquid circulation helps cool things off.
4.) Try not to ride your brakes:
In stop-and-go traffic, crawl along slowly, on little more than an idle, rather than moving up and then braking repeatedly. Brake drag increases the load on the engine and makes it heat up. If traffic is crawling, move up only when the gap between you and the vehicle in front of you gets too large.
5.) If you think that your vehicle is about to boil over, drive to the left-hand side of the road, open the bonnet, and sit there until things cool off.
Remember, don’t open the radiator cap under these circumstances, and if your engine has boiled over, don’t add water until the engine is quite cool again.
If you must add coolant/water to the radiator:
Add the water slowly while the engine is running, ensure its in park and the hand brake on. Although hot weather is the most common cause of overheating, many other factors can cause the same problem. If your vehicle overheats in traffic in normal weather, one of the following may be the culprit: The water and coolant level in the radiator is low. There’s a leak in the cooling system.
Common causes of a radiator overheating including cooling fan failure, broken water pump, a broken fan belt, a stuck thermostat, coolant leak or a clogged radiator.
Radiator leaks can be the result of a leaky radiator cap, an internal leak originating in the head gasket or engine block, or an external leak typically from a worn-out water pump or radiator hose.
Whatever is causing the coolant leak or overheating radiator, our automotive technicians will be able to diagnose the problem. After diagnosing why your radiator leaks, we'll offer you different repair and replacement options and when we fix your radiator, our services will be backed by our triple guarantee: fixed right, priced right and right on time.