What to Do When Your Car Overheats Posted on May 23 2017
Summer is just around the corner and it’s already getting hot in Simi Valley. The hotter the temperatures, the more likely a car is to overheat when pushed beyond its limits. Overheating is less of a concern with most of today’s modern cars, but it can still happen. And when it comes to older cars, summer heat and the hilly terrain of the valley, it is definitely a concern.
If you are paying attention, you will notice a steady rise on your dashboard’s temperature gauge and ultimately a warning light may come on when the temperature becomes critical. If you see smoke coming out from under the hood, that’s typically a sign of overheating and you won’t want to push your car much further. In the case of smoke/steam, you’ll want to pull over as quickly as possible and possibly call your local auto shop.
Otherwise, when you notice the temperature gauge rising or see a warning light, the first step should be to turn off the air conditioner and open your windows. This will immediately alleviate the temperature strain on the engine and relieve pressure.
If that doesn’t make a noticeable difference, the next step will be to turn on the heater. It may be rather uncomfortable, but it pulls heat away from the engine and into your car’s cabin. If that doesn’t help, it is best to pull over and at least let the vehicle cool down before attempting to drive further.
If you are at a stop and your car begins to overheat, try putting it in neutral or park and revving the engine a few times. This increases air circulation and can help cool things down in the radiator.
When pulled over and checking under the hood, be very careful when removing the radiator cap. It will be extremely hot and can burn you. Use a rag, towel or even your shirt if you have to and open carefully. Hot steam may come out, so keep your face and extremities protected. If the radiator fluidis low, add more antifreeze or add water to get it back to proper levels. Wait until the engine cools down completely before getting back on the road.
If the problem persists, it’s best to get off the road and call for help. Bill’s Quality Auto Care can have a service truck there to help and provide a tow to our shop in Simi Valley if needed. Then, our expert automotive technicians will get to the root of the problem, so it can be fixed and you can be back on the road as soon as possible. Any number of issues can lead to overheating including faulty fans, fan belts, water pumps, radiator leaks and low fluids. Overheating is a serious problem that you’ll want to get addressed as soon as possible.