What To Do When My Car Overheats?

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Cars overheat most often in very hot weather. If you find yourself in stop-and-go traffic or climbing a steep grade on an extremely hot day, your dashboard temperature indicator starts to rise or a malfunction indicator light comes on. All these signs indicate that your vehicle's engine is overheating. Fret not and keep these steps in mind!

Pull over and turn off your engine

First and foremost, get off the road! Your engine will overheat, causing smoke and steam to blow out in front of your car and making it hard to see. Pull over to the roadside quickly and safely, put your car in park and turn the ignition off. Before you go further on any investigation, make sure you have parked in a safe area.

Call for help

Your first instinct after pulling over might be to pop the hood and check the radiator and that is a bad idea. Messing around under the hood could leave you with burns or put you in danger of pressurized coolant. Instead, call a tow truck and let them know you have an overheated engine. They’ll know what to do.

Wait until the engine completely cools — at least 30 minutes!

It is important to know that you stop your vehicle immediately to prevent engine burning. You might be able to speed up the cooling process if you can pop the hood with a latch located inside the car cabin. However, do not touch or attempt to open the hood until the engine is completely cool down.

Check the coolant or antifreeze reservoir

Typically, this reservoir is a translucent plastic tank near the radiator. If it's empty or low on fluid, and when you have allowed time for the engine to cool, refill the tank with new antifreeze. If the coolant has a sludgy, oily surface, immediately take the vehicle to your mechanic to check for internal head gasket leakage

Check hoses for leakage or blockage

Chances are, if the coolant tank is completely empty or you spot a drip or puddle on the ground, you've got a leak. Overheating is a dangerous situation and an inconvenient one, it is also something that can be only be fixed by the right professional. 
Overheating can be a car-killer and should never be taken lightly, so the next time if your temperature gauge venturing into the red, you would know how to tackle them.


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