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What to Do When Your Car Overheats

There is only so much that you can do as a driver to keep your car from overheating. When you are driving in the hot sun, especially in stop and go types of driving scenarios, this can lead your engine to overheating. 

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Outside of the warmer exterior weather, the issue normally lies with your engine’s cooling system. Engine components such as, rubber hoses, gaskets, and pumps, can easily become damaged due your typical wear and tear. 

The good news is that in most cases, regular maintenance can prevent this problem from occurring. By consistently checking your car’s coolant and oil level, as well as the condition of the engine components involved in the cooling of your engine, an overheating engine can be avoided all together, but what happens if you haven't checked on those things in a while? There are some simple signs that can let you know that there may be a problem. The first sign is when you see steam coming from under the hood of your car. This steam often looks just like smoke. It is important to not panic if you see this coming from your engine. Another hint that something may be wrong is strange smells that are coming from the front of your vehicle. This smell could be from coolant or oil that is leaking from somewhere in your engine compartment. The last hint that your car will give is when you see your engine temperature gauge move into the red zone or “H” for hot. Once you recognize that your engine is overheating, there are some easy steps you should take when this occurs. 

The first thing that you can try is turning on the heat inside the vehicle. While this might sound that it would take the opposite effect, drawing in heat to the inside of your vehicle can take the pressure off the engine’s cooling system. If this does not work after a few minutes, it is recommended that you should pull over. Now, you just need to be patient. It is recommended that you give the engine and components at least 15 minutes before trying to drive your vehicle again. The time off can be just enough for the engine to cool down and be ready to go again. If this does not do the trick, it is recommended that try to add coolant to your vehicle. If this is something that you are not comfortable with or not available to you during the time, getting to the nearest service station is the best bet. Even adding the coolant does not fix the problem. It only just masks the problem for safer travel until the root of the problem can be addressed. 

If you have any further questions or concerns about your car overheating, give us a call and we can help you out, or just bring your vehicle into our shop and we can get the problem solved. Getting your safely back on the road is what we do!

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