Engine Overheating? What You Should Do When On The Road
Your car's engine can overheat for a variety of reasons, but when it happens on the road, it can make the drive stressful. Even if you are just trying to drive your car a mile up the road to the nearest auto shop, you need to know how to prevent your engine from overheating. Follow these tips to ensure that your engine makes it to the shop without causing more damage to it.
Keep Extra Coolant And Water On Hand
If your car has ever showed signs of coolant leaking, be prepared by keeping some coolant with you in the car. Topping off your coolant tank will help keep the engine cool, but if it is leaking fast from a leak, you may find that the coolant is gone before you know it. In this situation, water can also work as a replacement for coolant, since it is cheaper and will be just as effective when it drains out through a leak so quickly.
When you are just driving a short distance to get your car fixed, avoid putting the cap on the coolant tank. The cap will add pressure to the system, and push the coolant or water out through the leak faster than normal. You can even top off the tank past the fill line, because with the cap off of the coolant tank, you will not have to worry about the build up of pressure in the system.
Just remember to never pour water or coolant into a hot radiator, since it can crack the car's engine block.
Turn the AC Off and the Heat On
Your car's air conditioning is going to put unnecessary stress on your engine, causing it to get hotter than normal. On the other hand, the heater will help redirect that heat away from your engine. Even if it is the peak of summer, turning that heat on can help cool down your engine temporarily.
Pull The Car Over And Let It Cool Down
If your temperature gauge starts climbing up quickly, you'll need to pull over and turn the engine off. Pop your hood from inside the car if you can, but avoid touching the hood since it may be too hot to handle. Wait about half an hour before opening the hood, which should make it cool enough to the touch. If you are worried about getting burned by accident, use a towing company to take your car directly to the auto shop.
For more tips and information on overheating engines, contact a shop like Alaska Professional Auto or another location.