When your car overheats, it's in danger of suffering major damage. If you see the dashboard temperature gauge creeping ever higher it's a sign that something is wrong with your engine, and you should seek professional help immediately. If you're on the road, however, you may not be able to get to an auto repair shop right away. Here's what to do if your car overheats on the road.
Turn the heater on.
If it happens to be summertime, the heater may be the last thing you want to turn on when your car is overheating. However, doing this can help to lower the temperature a little bit. Turning the heater on will turn the fan on, and that fan will blow on your motor, cooling it slightly.
You will want to pull over as quickly as it is safely possible, especially if the temperature gauge starts to climb past the half mark. Look for a wide break down lane, a rest area, a driveway or a commercial parking lot in which to pull over and let your car's engine rest.
Turn off the vehicle.
When your car overheats, your engine is running but it's not being cooled down. Your ultimate goal is to turn the vehicle off so that the temperature no longer rises. The car will start its cooling process as soon as you turn your key to the "off" position. Lift the hood so the air can help to cool the engine.
Allow the vehicle to cool before a visual inspection.
Depending on the outside air temperature, the engine could be significantly cool after about 30 minutes. At that point, you can try to check your coolant levels and your hoses to see if your overheating issue is caused by something simple. Low antifreeze and hose leaks are common reasons that some vehicles overheat. Your problem could be inside the radiator, as well. If you have a leak in the radiator, the coolant would have come out, leaving you with an empty coolant tank. Be careful not to open the radiator cap unless it is cool to the touch, and you're familiar with this procedure.
Call for help.
Finally, you will want to call for professional help. A roadside assistance company or an auto repair shop with a tow truck will be able to come to your aid. In the meantime, don't try testing the engine again. It's possible that your engine suffered damage already, and turning the car on again may exacerbate the problem. Instead, call a local company, such as Arringdale's Engine Rebuilding & Auto Repair, first.
As long as you follow this advice and minimize the overheating, your car repair costs should be manageable. It's when drivers continue to operate their vehicle in the overheated state that catastrophic damage occurs.Share
13 May 2015
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