5 Things to do If your Car Overheats

Modern vehicles have cooling systems with sophisticated heat sensors and computer-controlled fans to keep your engine cool during all weather conditions. However, these components are not fool-proof and can eventually fail. Your vehicle can overheat if there are coolant leaks within the cooling system. Even a small leak can lead to increased engine temperatures. In other circumstances, if you skipped an oil change, the engine oil can be old and deteriorated, leading to the engine overheating. If the engine overheats, you'll be well aware. The check engine light will illuminate, and the engine will start to smoke. The car will lose power, and there will be a poignant smell. Overheating can be dangerous and cause long term damage to your vehicle. While we aren't always able to prevent our car from overheating, there are ways to avoid it turning into a costly repair. Below are three techniques to take if your vehicle is overheating. 

Pullover when it's safe to do so. 

If your vehicle is overheating, pull over to a safe area and allow your car to cool off for 15 minutes. It may be a good idea to reach out to roadside assistance to have your vehicle towed to your trusted service station. Do not drive if your car is overheating. Your vehicle has several aluminum parts that can't withstand too much heat and become melted and warped. In severe cases, the head gasket can become blown. Blown head gaskets can cause permanent damage to your vehicle and lead to a costly repair job. 

Turn the heater on. 

It may seem counterintuitive to turn the heater on when the engine is overheating, but it actually helps the situation rather than hinders. Turning on the heater can draw heat away from the engine and into the passenger compartment. Removing heat away from the engine can decrease the cooling system's burden and may stop the overheating altogether. 

Top off the coolant. 

After your vehicle has stopped steaming and has completely cooled down, put on gloves and pop the hood. Check the coolant levels by removing the radiator cap and inspecting inside the reservoir. If the coolant is below the "full" line, top it off with extra coolant. Check your vehicle's owner's manual to ensure you fill your vehicle with the correct type of coolant. And if you check the coolant levels and the fluid levels are full. Try checking the oil levels. Overheating should eventually be inspected by an expert to identify the exact cause of the issue to diagnose it properly. 

Engine inspection and diagnostics in Severna Park, MD

Bay Area Tire & Service Center has state-of-the-art scan equipment that is key in engine diagnostics. If you notice any of the above symptoms, reach out to one of our professional technicians. We have been serving the Severna Park community for over 40 years as a trusted family-owned repair shop that prioritizes honesty and integrity.

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