When it comes to car trouble, few things cause panic like an overheating engine. Especially if you're unfamiliar with vehicles, this experience can be downright frightening. But don't let the heat get to you. If you keep a cool head, it could mean the difference between a quick engine fix, or something that ends up costing thousands.
Why Does an Engine Overheat?
Vehicles have an optimal temperature range, which is visible on the dashboard. If the temperature gauge creeps into the red zone beyond this range, the engine is overheating. Steam rising from the hood will often be another indicator.
Overheating can be caused by several factors, including:
- Driving in hot weather
- Low water/coolant
- Failing water pump
- Cooling system leak or clog
- Thermostat malfunction
- Faulty radiator fan
The Heat Is On, but Don't Panic
What should you do if your engine overheats? First, remain calm. Then, as soon as possible, pull over and shut off your vehicle. But what if there's nowhere to go?
Turn on your vehicle's heater till you find an area to park.
Yes. This is not just rumor or lore. Make sure the air conditioner is off, and crank that heat.
Blasting your heater can pull a bit of heat away from your engine. Transferring the heat buys you some time until you can safely pull over. In some cases, this move may be enough to reverse the overheating process. Regardless, you will need to stop your car as soon as you can to give it at least 15 minutes to rest.
Seek Professional Help
Due to the possibility of severe injury, never open the vehicle's hood till the engine has cooled. You can add coolant or water after this point. Even if this does not resolve the problem, it will be enough to get you to the nearest service station.
And that's precisely what you need to do. The problem could be nothing major. Nevertheless, a professional should inspect it right away.
Do your part to keep yourself going. If you need engine repair, don't hesitate to give our auto repair shop a call today!