Engine Overheating: The Signs And How To Avoid It

When your engine overheats, it can be extremely troubling, not to mention expensive. So what should you do when your engine shows sign of overheating, and how can you know if you’re in danger? This guide will explain some of the warning signs and what every driver needs to know in the event that the engine starts to get too hot.

First Things First

If you think the engine in your vehicle is overheating, the first thing you need to do is pull over to the side of the road. The longer you drive a car with an engine in distress, the more damage will be caused. Remain calm and try to pull over to the right-hand side of the road. Then, contact your local roadside assistance service or a tow company and bring your vehicle into an experienced mechanic for further assessment. If you can’t pull over right away, turn the heater on full blast. This can help add a bit of extra cooling through the heater core, although it’s not meant to be a complete deterrent from the need to pull over as soon as possible.

Once you pull over, look for steam coming out from under the hood. If steam or smoke is visible, do not lift the hood. It can take at least 30 minutes or longer for your overheating engine to completely cool down. And, never remove the radiator cap when your engine is hot or else coolant can spew out, causing serious burns. Leave everything as it is and seek help immediately.

Warning Signs of an Overheating Engine

Steam and smoke are not the only signs that your engine is getting too hot. If it’s cold outside and your heater isn’t getting warm, your thermostat could be stuck, or you could be running low on coolant. Take a close look at your temperature gauge and look to see if it’s creeping toward the hot reading. This is the most common sign that something is going on. Most newer vehicles also have a temperature warning light. If this light is illuminated, you definitely have a serious problem that needs to be addressed ASAP.

What Can You Do?

The most common cause of engines overheating is a low level of coolant. Practice good maintenance and ensure that your car’s coolant levels are at a good level by doing a quick visual check. The coolant is usually housed in a plastic tank under the hood, and it should include a minimum coolant level mark to help you see where your coolant is currently sitting. Top it off if needed. Bring your vehicle to be inspected regularly, and make sure the cooling system is included. Use the vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations for inspection schedules. If your vehicle is older, have the cooling system inspected more often than you might need to with a newer car. These simple steps can help to keep you and your engine safe when you’re out on the road.

At East Coast Euroworks, we specialize in service and repair for all makes and models of European vehicles. Come visit us at our Wilmington, NC location or give us a call today to schedule your appointment today!


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