Have you ever experienced your engine started smoking and everyone in the car had to pull over? This is what happens when your car engine overheats. There are numerous reasons why engines can overheat. Generally, there is a problem within the cooling system that leads to overheating. The problem can be a faulty radiator fan, clogged coolant hose, or cooling system leak. Whatever the cause is, it is important to know how to keep a car from overheating. Here are 10 tips that work.
How to keep a car from overheating: Turn off the AC
When the engine overheats, the first thing you can do is to kill the AC. Turning off the air conditioner helps mitigate the stress on the engine. But, it is still not enough. Immediately, you need to turn the dial to maximum heat. The purpose is to pull the heat away from the engine.
Obviously you will get a little hot but try to survive in a few minutes until the engine gets cooler. This is the way to stay safe when things get hot. If you keep running the AC while the engine is overheating, the whole system can get damaged. To reduce the uncomfortable feeling, open all windows.
You might be curious what the relationship between AC and overheating engine is. The compressor of the AC is run off the engine. This is what causes the engine from overheating. If it happens frequently, it seems that there is a serious mechanical issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
Pull the car over and stop
When the engine temperature is getting high, you have to cool it off. So, shut off the care. Find a safe place to pull the car over, for example, on the side of the road. Let the engine to cool for at least half an hour. Watch the temperature gauge. As the engine cools, it should get back to a normal range. While waiting for the engine to get cooler, try to call a tow truck or at least a friend to help.
If you are in a stop-and-go traffic, keep calm. The situation can be stressful but you should not panic. Avoid alternating between braking and accelerating. Doing so will even turn up the heat as braking produces a lot of friction. Give a sign to other drivers that you have a problem with your car. Surely, they will understand. Who knows, there are kind people who will help you call a repair shop.
Open the hood
One way to release the heat from the engine is to open the hood. In this way, the air can circulate better, releasing the heat from the hot engine. When opening the hood, try to be careful. The high temperature produces hot steam that may come blasting out. Also, don’t try to open the radiator cap as it must be still very hot.
Check the coolant for a leak
Engines overheat typically because the coolant is low. To solve the problem, you can fill in with water or antifreeze. That is why carrying an extra bottle of coolant as well as a jug of water is highly recommended especially if you have a long drive in hot summer.
If the coolant tank is full
What if the coolant tank is full? It means the coolant is not leaking. As the overheating engine is caused by either electrical or mechanical problem in nature, the best idea is to call a tow to bring your car to a repair shop. The problem can be a leaking hose, bad water pump, or malfunction fan belt.
Restart the engine
If the temperature decreases and the car isn’t being towed, you may want to try restart your engine carefully. Find the nearest auto repair shop and drive very carefully there. Always pay attention on the temperature gauge while driving. If it starts to rise again, stop the vehicle and let the system cool.
Tint your windows
Applying window film or window tinting can help make the inside of your car cooler. In addition, the film provides protection from the sun UV ray. You can get the car windows tinted in an auto body shop or a local dealership. There are a number of window tinting types to choose from such as dyed, metalized, carbon, and ceramic window tinting film. They are known to be effective in blocking out heat, reducing glare, and blocking UV ray.
Check and clean your radiator
It is important to regularly clean your radiator as dirt and debris can build up there, blocking the airflow can causing big problems within the cooling system. That is why it is important to clear up your radiator from leaves, dirt, insects, and other debris.
Moreover, don’t hesitant to take a closer look to the radiator cap. Make sure it is properly fastened and in a good shape. If the cap’s spring become weak, it can lead to overheating. So, make sure you inspect the radiator cap carefully.
Park under the shade
Parking a car under the sun can lead to overheat. To prevent the car from overheating, find a shady spot to park it. Not only does it keep the car cool, it also prolong its life. What if there are no shady parking area? Consider using a sunshade. It works to reduce the heat inside the car.
While being parked, leave the car windows slightly open. The purpose is to let the air escape. However, make sure that the opening is not too large, otherwise someone can reach through. You also need to keep an eye on the weather. A heavy rain or sudden storm can cause the interior to be soggy.
The tips on how to keep a car from overheating above are important. You never know what will be happening down the road. Meanwhile, you cannot always find an auto repair shop not call a tow truck. That is why knowing how to deal with the problem independently is important for any car drivers.