What to Do When Your Car Overheats
Steps to Take for an Overheating Car before Seeing Your MechanicBefore you take your car in for an inspection, you will need to deal with the immediate issue. Here are the steps you should take when your car’s engine overheats:
- Be Prepared – Always be prepared for an overheating event. You can do this by keeping a bottle of coolant in your vehicle at all times. You should also keep a container of water in your car.
- Know the Signs – You also need to know the signs of an overheating car. If you see smoke billowing out from the engine area, it is likely overheated. Keep an eye on the dashboard, too. If you see a warning light that displays the word “TEMP,” it is telling you that the temperature is too high. The temperature gauge will also indicate that the engine is too hot.
- Turn on the Heater – It might seem counter-intuitive, but you should immediately turn on the heater if you suspect that the engine is overheating. Be sure to turn the heat on the highest setting. Doing this will direct some heat away from the engine and into the heater mechanism. If you notice that the temperature gauge indicates a high temperature but the engine is not yet overheated, you may also do this as a preventative measure.
- Stop Driving – As soon as you can safely do so, get off the road and turn off the engine.
- Lift the Hood – Opening the hood will help to cool the engine off more quickly. However, do not attempt to do this if the engine is emitting steam. Also, do not try to remove the radiator cap until the engine is cool. Injuring yourself will only make the situation worse.
- Wait for the Engine to Cool – Your next step is to allow the engine to cool. This can take about 30 minutes or more. During this time, you might want to contact a towing company and our team of trained mechanics at RPM Automotive.
- Check the Coolant Level – The coolant tank is made of translucent plastic. It can be found near the radiator, which is under the hood. If it is empty, check for a dripping engine, which can indicate a leak. If the engine is cool, you can add the proper ratio of coolant to water. The standard ratio is 50/50. You can use water if you do not have coolant available. If the tank is not empty, your car may have a mechanical or electrical issue.
Do not hesitate to contact us if your car has overheated. We are the leading auto repair company in the Kelowna area. Call us today at 250-868-3533 and see our contact page for directions and business hours.