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safety June 11, 2015

What to do if your Car Overheats

As the  heat begins to rise, your engine temperature will go up as well. There is a chance that your car could overheat. However, there are steps you can take to prevent your vehicle from overheating in the hot summer months.


If you notice the temperature gauge rising into the red or an alert light glowing, immediately do the following:


       Turn off your air conditioner because it puts a strain on your engine

      Turn your heater up to full air, this will help transfer the hot air away from the engine

      Always keep an extra bottle of antifreeze and bottled water in your car. Engines usually overheat because the coolant is low, topping it off will usually solve the problem

      If you are stuck in traffic, shift into Neutral or Park and ‘rev’ the engine gently. This will cause the water pump and the fan to speed up, drawing more liquid and air through the radiator. The increased air and fluid circulation will help cool things down

      Avoid using your brakes. Brake usage increases the load on the engine causing it to heat up. If you are in stop and go traffic or city driving, move up only when there is a big distance between you and the vehicle in front of you

      If safe to do so, drive to the right side of the road, open the hood and park until your car parts cool down.

Once the engine has cooled down, check the coolant tank. If the coolant tank is empty, you may have a leak. If the coolant tank is full, the issue could be electrical or mechanical related.


Modern cars are less prone to overheating due to technological advances and alerts. If you find that your vehicle is overheating, it is probably an indication of a bigger problem.


For expert car-care, visit any of Virginia Tire and Autos 12 convenient NOVA. For more information, read about our engine diagnostic repair services.

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