At the first sign of overheating, shut off your air conditioner and open your windows: Doing so decreases the load on the engine and helps it cool off. If you continue to overheat, turn on the heater and blower: Doing so transfers the heat from the engine to the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
To help you know what to do if your car overheats, here are 5 easy steps. First, always carry an extra bottle of coolant (also called antifreeze) in your car, as well as a jug of water. Engines typically overheat because the coolant’s low, so topping it off will usually solve the problem. Failing that, water will also temporarily do the trick.
If your car is overheating at low vehicle speeds only (i.e. in the city), there’s a decent chance you’ve got an airflow issue (because there’s little ram air going through the radiator at ...
If your car overheats, do not drive more than a quarter mile. Have it towed to avoid further damage to the engine. However, if there is no experienced mechanic or tow truck nearby, follow these simple steps: Pull over to a safe location and turn off the engine.
But if the needle of your temperature gauge rises or you spot steam coming from under your hood, your car could be overheating. When your car overheats, it often means something is wrong with one of the cooling system components, which include your fan, radiator, thermostat, hoses and coolant.
If you don't have enough coolant in there to do the job, heat will build up and your engine will overheat. No amount of running the heater in the summer will help if you don't have enough coolant in the radiator to transfer the heat.
In the meantime, do not attempt to open the hood; the coolant in a car that has overheated may be in excess of 230 degrees, says Reina. Once the hood is open, there’s a risk of being sprayed with hot water or steam.
If your car has electric radiator fans, you may be able to activate the electric fans with the engine off. With the car overheated, turn the ignition off (to stop the engine) and then back on without starting the engine. On some cars, the electric fans are wired to turn on even with the engine off.