What to do when your car engine overheats?

Overheating can occur for a number of reasons, but the basic cause of overheating involves a problem with the cooling system, which doesn't allow heat to escape the engine compartment. A leak in the cooling system or a blockage elsewhere in the engine can cause this problem.

Overheating of your engine symptoms

In order to spot overheating, you have to look for these symptoms:

  • You may see steam (which looks like smoke) coming from under the hood of the vehicle.
  • You notice a spike in the temperature gauge on your dashboard when it reaches "H" or into the red. (Engine temperature gauge symbols vary, so check your owner's manual.)
  • An odd smell emanates from the engine area.

What can you do in this situation?

  • 1. Turn off car AC and on the heater-
  • A hot summer day may make you feel like turning on the air conditioner, but you can use it to pull hot air out of the engine compartment. Although it isn't a permanent fix for the underlying problem, it is useful when traveling long distances

  • 2. Park your car under the shadow-
  • The shade and the sun are very different in temperature - and so is your car. By parking in the shade, you will stay cool while also prolonging the life of your vehicle.

  • 3. Check car’s coolant level-
  • In the summer, it is especially important. Open the hood and look for the coolant reservoir to check the level. An indicator line shows how much coolant is in the reservoir. The coolant level should be raised by adding the appropriate amount of coolant and reattaching the cap. Water and coolant are often mixed together to make engine coolant. It is possible to mix coolant yourself by buying concentrated coolant.

  • 4. Take your car to the service station-
  • No matter how often you maintain the engine coolant levels, it will eventually become dirty and need to be replaced. When you flush your radiator, you drain old coolant from the radiator, clean it with flush fluid, then add fresh coolant. Automovill recommends flushing every 40,000 miles, but be sure to check your owner's manual to see if the manufacturer recommends flushing more frequently.

If your car's engine overheats, Automovill recommends having the following items handy:

  • Basic tool kit for small jobs
  • Some quarts of oil
  • 1 gallon of water and antifreeze fluid (50/50 mix)
  • Towel
  • Gloves that are heavy-duty