There can be many reasons why our cars overheat. Though, it is often due to issues on our cars’ cooling systems, which include several components such as radiator, thermostat, and coolant. When this happens, heat won’t be able to escape the engine compartment — resulting in overheating.
But regardless of the cause, you should always act immediately to prevent any serious or permanent damage. Your best bet is to call a mechanic and have your car brought down to the nearest auto repair shop. But what if, for whatever reason, help is not available. Do you know what to do?
Make sure that you’re prepared once this disaster strikes. Here’s what you’ve got to do when your car overheats.
What To Do When My Car Overheats?
Crank the Heat
First and foremost, do not panic. Your car has already lost its cool, so don’t let the situation lose yours too. The first thing you need to do is turn off the A/C. This reduces the stress in the engine. You will need to open the heater as well, which disperses the heat and prevents your engine from overheating more.
Pull Over to a Safe Place
The next step is to find a safe place to pull over, and turn off the engine. Keeping your car shut is the best way to cool the engine. This usually takes at least 15 minutes..
Keep an eye on the temperature gauge. Wait for it to move from hot to cool. Once the temperature gauge is back to its normal range, you can now open the hood of your car.
However, remember to not attempt to open your hood before the car is completely cooled. If you open your hood immediately, you will be at risk of being sprayed with boiling coolant or steam.
NOTE: If you have roadside assistance, this is the best time to call to have your car towed to the nearest accredited repair shop.
Check and Fill Your Coolant
Once your engine has cooled off, find your coolant reservoir and check its coolant level. Use a towel to slowly twist off its cap, and check if the coolant level is low. If you’re not sure where the coolant reservoir is, you can check it on the owner’s manual.
If necessary, fill in the reservoir with coolant until full. This will keep your car from overheating again until you get your car fixed. Once full, make sure that you put the cap back on.
Go to an Auto Repair Shop
The next step you need to do is drive to the nearest auto repair shop in the area. Adding coolant is just a band aid solution. It will just prevent your car from overheating until you can safely drive to the nearest repair shop.
Just remember that once you start your journey to the repair shop, carefully monitor the temperature gauge. If you notice it crossing the optimal mark, pull over and let your car cool again.
Keep Calm and Act Wisely
When it comes to emergency situations like this, our right state of mind is our biggest weapon. Do not panic. This will just prohibit you from making wise and sound decisions. Keep in mind our guide above, so that you’ll know what to do once this roadside emergency comes in your way.