The hot summer weather makes it difficult for your vehicle's cooling system to dissipate engine heat. This increases your car’s risk of overheating, and puts you at risk of being stranded on the side of the road. If this should happen, P & T Automotive Repair, the leading auto inspection and maintenance service in High Point, NC, offers some tips to keep you safe and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
What to Do When Your Car Overheats
Turn on Heat & Open Windows
If you cannot pull to the shoulder when the temperature light goes on, turn off the air conditioning, open your windows, and turn your heater to the warmest setting. While it may be uncomfortable, it will help dissipate engine heat. Avoid riding the brake, and shift into neutral when you can. These steps will reduce your engine load and slow the overheating process.
Turn Off Engine
If the engine boils over and starts billowing steam, pull to the side of the road and turn off the motor. If it is safe to do so, get out of the car and open the hood to let cool air flow around the engine. Whatever you do, don’t remove the radiator cap! Since the coolant is so hot and pressurized, opening the radiator is a surefire way to get scalded by steam or coolant spray.
Wait for the Engine to Cool
Let the engine cool down before poking around under the hood or adding coolant. This will prevent you from burning your hands or arms on the hot metal.
Check for Leaks or Broken Hoses
Overheating is usually caused by low coolant levels, which are often the result of a leak in the system. Once the engine has cooled, look for leaking, detached, or broken hoses. Check under the car for signs of dripping fluid. If you spot a detached or cracked hose, attempt temporary repairs with duct tape.
Top off the coolant levels by adding antifreeze to the reservoir. You can use water in a pinch, but you'll want to have an auto inspection service flush the system and replace it with antifreeze as soon as possible.
Monitor Temperature Gauge
When you're back on the road, keep an eye on your dashboard temperature gauge. If it spikes again, pull over and turn off the engine until it cools.
P & T Automotive Repair is the leading auto repair shop in High Point, NC, and they can help you avoid excessive engine heat by performing an auto inspection on your cooling system. Visit their website for contact details, or call (336) 869-8051 to schedule service.