In an ideal environment, your car's radiator and engine coolant will keep the engine running at an optimal temperature and prevent overheating. However, malfunctions happen, and sometimes those malfunctions cause an overheating engine. If you're experiencing trouble with your engine's running temperature, there are some things that you should know. Here's a look at some tips for how to handle an overheating engine.
Turn On The Heat
If your engine temperature is running warm, the first thing you can do to combat the problem is to turn on the heat. When you turn the heat on in the cabin, that system uses heat from the engine to warm your car. This will help draw some heat away from the engine, providing you with a little bit of a reprieve. However, this won't prevent full overheating, so you need to find somewhere safe to stop.
Let It Cool
As soon as you find somewhere safe to stop, do so. Park the car, raise the hood, and let the engine cool for a while. Be careful raising the hood because an engine that's significantly overheating could be extremely hot and there may be steam that could burn you.
Check The Coolant
Once the engine has cooled, check your coolant level. If the coolant is dangerously low, that's likely the cause of your overheating problem. Add coolant and see if that fixes the problem. Check all of the hoses for any signs of cracking or holes that could have allowed coolant to leak, and check the clamps to be sure they are tight. If you find a damaged hose, wrap the damage with duct tape to seal it temporarily so you can get it home. You'll still have to have it checked by a mechanic for signs of a leak, but it could save you from needing a tow.
Call For A Tow
If the coolant levels are fine, that means that there's likely a problem with the coolant circulation, either within the radiator or the water pump. You'll need to have your car towed to an engine repair shop to address this problem because it requires mechanical intervention and isn't something that can be easily fixed on the side of the road.
It's important to be attentive to the engine temperature any time you're driving your car. Ignoring an overheating engine can lead to a cracked engine block, blown gaskets, and a series of other mechanical problems. With these tips and the help of a local mechanic, you can keep your engine's cooling system running at its best. For more information on engine repair, contact a company like The Brake Shop.