What To Do If Your Car Overheats

If your vehicle overheats, it can be because of a number of issues, including a damaged coolant system or an improperly functioning engine. Whatever the cause, an overheating vehicle poses a number of risks, as high temperatures can cause severe damage to components under the hood and even cause engine fires in rare cases. If your vehicle suddenly overheats, there are a number of things that you should do to safely reduce the temperature.

Turn the Heat On

If your engine's temperature suddenly spikes while driving, you should immediately turn the heat on within your vehicle as high as you can. While this may be unpleasant, it can help move heat out of your engine's coolant system and into the interior of the vehicle and reduce the overall temperature. You should also open the windows to avoid blasting yourself with high temperatures. In some mild cases, this can be more than enough to return your engine compartment to normal operating temperature, but most of the time turning the heat on will simply give you enough time to pull over safely and open the hood to further vent the heat away from your engine.

Check the Hoses

You should open up the hood and check all the visible hoses within your engine compartment for signs of physical damage, and underneath your vehicle for any signs of fluid leaks. High engine temperature is most often attributable to a fluid leak, which can be fixed by simply having a hose replaced. If you do see any signs of a leak, you should head to a mechanic straight away to have the hose replaced. Even without a visual sign of a leak, you should still get it checked out: sometimes a hose can become blocked by the buildup of debris and grime, inhibiting the proper flow of coolant.

Check the Fluid

You should also check the fluids within the engine compartment. Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and other fluids can all cause a number of problems if they are old and in need of a chance, as grime and dirt buildup in them can cause them to hold onto more heat, or create more friction, within their respective moving parts, which can cause all sorts of problems besides overheating. If you're unsure if your fluids are in good shape, you should head to a mechanic, such as those at Felix Auto Repair & Towing, to have them checked out and flushed if needed.