What To Do When Your Car Overheats
Vehicles are bound to overheat at some point. Whether this is due to mechanical trouble, general wear and tear, or simply because of bad luck, overheating can happen. Most vehicles these days are equipped with protective measures intended to prevent this. But if and when it happens and you’re not ready for it, lasting damage may occur.
Is My Car At Risk Of Overheating?
All cars can overheat. However, there are certain conditions which can make you more prone to it. If you live in a tropical or desert area, or if there’s been an uncommonly long and hot summer of late, your car is at increased risk. This, on top of the normal heating cycle that a combustion engine undergoes, can contribute to overheating.
If you want to avoid unnecessary and costly repairs, it pays to know what you can do to prevent overheating in your car.
Everyday Items That Can Prevent Overheating
Your car’s trunk should have all the bare essentials necessary to provide quick fixes whenever needed.
- Coolant. This is the first line of defense against overheating. A gallon of coolant comprised of a 50/50 combination of plain water and antifreeze should always be in your trunk.
- Motor oil. Have at least one or two bottles. Motor oil can help to counteract overheating, especially if the cause is low oil levels in your engine.
- Basic safety and repair tools. Some heatproof gloves, a monkey wrench, and a selection of basic car repair tools should always be ready. That way, you can safely handle an overheated engine.
How To Cool Down Your Car
If you find your car overheating, here are three easy steps you can take:
Step 1: Pull over and turn off the A/C
Whether you aree on a long drive or in the middle of traffic, always find a safe place to pull your vehicle over. This is so you could avoid potential accidents.
If you have your air conditioning turned on, turn it off. Having it on puts a big toll on your engine and makes it hotter.
Step 2: Switch the heater on
Once your A/C is turned off, turn on your heater. This may seem counter-intuitive, but your heater will actually redirect excess heat from your engine into your car. This wouldn’t be comfortable for you, so be sure to open your windows before you do this.
Let your engine cool down. It usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
Step 3: Add coolant and engine oil
Once your engine has sufficiently cooled to the point that it’s safe enough to handle, you can proceed with this step.
First, add coolant to the radiator. Next, check the oil levels of your engine and add additional oil as necessary. Both of these parts tend to run low on the very substances that help it to stay cool while in use.
With these three simple steps, you should be able to cool down your vehicle and hopefully, keep it in running condition until you get it to the nearest auto repair shop.