How to Deal with an Overheating Engine

How to Deal with an Overheating Engine

July 18, 2018

There are few better feelings than hitting the open road with your windows down on a beautiful summer’s day, especially if it’s to travel across the country on a road trip with friends or family. However, the heat of the summer can be hard on your engine, especially if you’re spending a lot of time on the road during a given period.

Therefore, it’s important to know how to prevent your engine from overheating, or how to stop it from overheating if you notice the temperature gauge readings starting to get a bit out of hand. Here are some tips from a mechanic in Everett, WA that could prove useful to you this summer when the mercury rises:

  • Pull over as soon as you notice overheating: The first sign of overheating should cause you to get off the road as soon as it’s safe to do so. If you see your temperature gauge pointing toward the “H,” this is a sign you need to get off the road and let your engine cool down before you proceed with your journey.
  • Open up your hood: After you’ve safely pulled over and parked, open up your car’s hood to let out all the hot air trapped beneath it. This will help the engine cool down significantly faster.
  • Leave the radiator cap on: Many people mistakenly believe that taking off the radiator cap will help cool down the engine, but this is simply not true. You should wait until the engine has fully cooled down before taking off the cap. Otherwise, you could seriously burn yourself.
  • Check the coolant reservoir: If coolant levels are down, you should fill it back up with engine coolant. Maintaining proper coolant levels is one of the best ways to prevent your engine from overheating to begin with, so before you head out on any long road trip, you should make sure to check your coolant levels. Even if you’re not heading out on a long trip, it’s a good time to take a look at the coolant reservoir several times each summer, just so you don’t drive on extremely hot days with low coolant.
  • Look for leaks: If you know you’ve been good about maintaining proper coolant levels, the problem could be a leak within the cooling system. If you don’t know where to look for leaks, a mechanic can help you with this when you take your vehicle in to be checked out, but one of the best ways to spot a leak is to check under your car where you keep it parked to see if any coolant is dripping out onto the pavement below.
  • Get to a mechanic if necessary: If the car was just low on coolant and you feel confident that this was the main cause of it overheating, it could be safe todrive. However, if you are out of engine coolant or believe something else caused your engine to overheat, make sure to call for a tow and get the issue fixed immediately.

For more information about preventing and dealing with engine overheating, contact a mechanic in Everett, WA.

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