Do you know what to do when your car overheats? As temperatures rise this summer, so does the risk of your car’s engine overheating. If your engine regularly runs too hot it can lead to serious damage and also risks your own safety.
Don’t wait for your temperature gauge warning light to come on, learn to recognize the signs of an overheating car and what you can do to prevent it!
Why Overheating Happens
All engines have a temperature where their performance is in an ideal range. If your car’s engine rises above that optimal range it overheats and can cause damage.
Hot weather is the most common cause of cars overheating, along with a low coolant level, failing water pump, broken thermostat, or cooling system leak.
All of these factors are aggravated by hot weather when your car’s air conditioning is running more often.
How To Prevent Overheating
There are a few things you can do to keep your car’s engine from overheating. The most important way to do this is to keep up with your vehicle’s regular maintenance appointments.
When you have your car’s oil changed at Boggs, we provide a full-service inspection that includes checking your car’s fluid levels, coolant hoses, belts, and more.
If our mechanics notice excessive wear or detect leaks, we’ll let you know right away so they can be repaired.
Other ways to reduce your car’s risk of overheating include:
- Park in the shade whenever possible or use a windshield sun shade
- Tint the windows in your vehicle or use car window shades
- Crack your car’s windows when it’s parked in a safe, dry place
- Switch on the floor air vents to push hot air out of your car before you run the A/C on full blast
- Watch your temperature gauge, if it starts pointing toward “hot”, pull over immediately
What To Do When Overheating Happens
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your car will overheat. It’s important to follow these steps to ensure both you and your car stay safe. Learn what to do when your car overheats!
If you notice your temperature gauge heating up, smell coolant or a “hot engine” smell, or see steam coming from your car’s hood, pull over immediately. Park your car safely and turn off the engine. Let it sit and cool for at least 10 minutes.
Cool The Engine
Once you can safely touch the hood of your car, open it and allow the heat to escape safely. Don’t try to turn on your car until all the steam or smoke has dissipated.
Check Coolant Levels
Once your engine has cooled, check your coolant level. This is usually a translucent plastic tank that is located near your radiator. If you aren’t sure where it is in your engine, check your owner’s manual. If your coolant tank is empty or low, you likely have a leak.
Remember, you never want to refill coolant when your engine is still hot, so give it plenty of time to cool down before refilling. Don’t ever pour water into your engine! If you don’t have spare coolant on hand, call for roadside assistance.
If your coolant tank is still full, your car might have a mechanical or electrical problem like a leaking hose, broken fan belt, failed water pump, or broken thermostat. That means it’s time to call for a tow truck.
We’re Here To Help
Taking care of your car is the best way to prevent overheating. Your vehicle’s engine needs regular coolant flushes, radiator maintenance, and full-service oil changes to stay on the road safely and Boggs is here to help!
We’re proud to be your local full-service car repair and maintenance shop with two convenient locations in Warsaw. We also have free pick-up available with our Boggs Driver service for oil changes and preventative maintenance.
No appointment is necessary for oil changes at Boggs Pit Stop, but if you’d like to schedule an oil change or any other car repair or maintenance services at Boggs Automotive, click below to give us a call.