Seeing steam pouring out from your vehicle’s bonnet is never a good sign, and is often followed by feelings of distress regarding the health of the car and the safety of the passengers. If your car’s overheating, it’s essential you know what to do to stay safe and avoid causing serious damage to your engine. Read our guide on the steps you should follow if you ever find yourself in that situation!
Step 1: Turn on the heater
It sounds counterintuitive, but if your engine is overheating, you should turn on the heater. The heater taps into the car’s cooling system and takes heat from the engine coolant to warm the air that is blown into the cabin. The coolant loses more heat in the radiator and is pumped back to the engine to get more heat. You can direct the hot air out of the cabin through the windows.
Step 2: Pull Over
As soon as you notice that your engine is overheating, you should turn on your warning lights and pull over once it’s safe to do so. Turning off the engine is the surest way to cool it down. After you’ve done that, it’s a good time to call roadside assistance if you have it.
Step 3: Check and add coolant
Once you’ve waited long enough for the car to completely cool down (the hood should be cool to the touch), you should proceed to add coolant. Slowly release the radiator cap and then pour the coolant inside until the liquid reaches the full line. Once you’ve done that, turn the engine back on and see if the temperature gauge goes back to normal. If it does, you can proceed to drive away carefully if you haven’t called roadside assistance.
Step 4: Get it checked by a professional
Once you’ve reached your destination, make an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. It’s best to have a professional check the engine even if you believe that the issue is minor.
How to prevent your car from overheating:
The easiest way to prevent a car from overheating is by conducting routine coolant checks, as well as performing radiator maintenance as directed by the vehicle’s manufacturer. If you take care of your car regularly, it’ll take care of you!
If you ever notice your car’s engine is overheating, don’t panic and follow these steps!