Things to Do When a Car Overheats

When your car overheats, something is often wrong with one of the cooling system components, including your fan, radiator, thermostat, water pumps, hoses, and coolant. 

Raise the Heater

You may want to turn on the air conditioner, but doing so is counterintuitive. Raising the heater to full blast helps dissipate the engine’s heat. 

Find a Safe Stop

Don’t drive an overheated car when you’re going to planned events. It can cause severe (possibly permanent) damage to the engine, so it is advisable to stop going as soon as possible. Stop and move away from the oncoming vehicle and stop the engine. 

Open the Hood

After parking the car, open the hood to dissipate excess heat. Then stop and cool things down. Take great care and keep in mind that hot engines can emit boiling coolant or high-pressure steam without warning. If you don’t want to open the hood yourself, it’s not embarrassing to ask for help. Either way: don’t touch the hot engine with your bare hands.

Check for Leaks

You may not be a mechanic, but it’s not difficult to identify some cooling system issues. Look at the radiator and hose to see if you can find any coolant leaks. If there’s no way for you to fix the car immediately, you’ll need a towing service San Jose provider.

Replenish the Coolant

If no leaks are found, you may be out of coolant. If you can quickly and confidently identify the correct part of your engine, follow these Consumer Reports tips to fix it quickly. You need to remove the radiator cap, but only after the engine has cooled down. When the machine cooled, use a towel to remove the lid slowly. 

If not, fill it out. Also, check if you have a plastic coolant expansion tank. Most cars use a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze, but room temperature water can be added as a temporary solution.

Know When to Call a Mechanic

If your car is out of coolant, you can restart it after refilling. Oversee the thermometer to make sure it is within safe limits. If you found a coolant leak or your coolant was complete, you may have a more complex cooling system issue, and it’s time to call your mechanic.