Problems won’t always be apparent, and may just sneak up on you when you least expect it and want it. For instance, low coolant levels can make your temperature gauge light up like the 4th of July! When this occurs, obey the warning! Here are a few things you can do when your vehicle is overheating.
Switch Off The AC
Since it is Summer, you most likely have the air-conditioning on. Operating the car’s a/c adds a heavy load on the engine, so as soon as the car starts to overheat, turn your engine off.
The energy that is needed to make your car’s cabin cool actually makes the engine hotter, therefore, it’s highly recommended to turn off the air-conditioning when you see your engine smoking. This is one way to cool down your vehicle while you are still on the road waiting for roadside assistance.
Turn On The Heater
Turning on the heater might sound like a crazy thing to do in the middle of Summer with an overheated car, but it is a proven method. Turning on the heater blows some of the excess heat from the engine into your car to lessen the burden on the engine until you can get off the road and find some immediate help. It’s not the most ideal thing to go through (particularly on a hot Summer day), which is when most vehicles overheat, but it will definitely cool down your car’s engine.
In some instances, it could be enough to reverse the overheating all together. You will know if that happens because your dashboard warning light will go off and the temperature gauge will go back to the neutral position.
This goes for any car malfunction, and not just for overheating. If your car doesn’t seem right, then get off the road pronto! Once you have turned off the A/C and are operating the heater, you must pull over and calibrate.
Rev Up The Engine
When you have pulled over in a safe place, you have to put your vehicle in neutral or park and rev the engine slightly. Giving the engine a light-footed rev will help to decrease the engine’s temperature. This is a good quick fix, but it is one of many steps you should take.
Some owners of used cars serving Santa Ana open the hood when they have pulled over and done all of the above. This helps to release the heat and allows air to circulate through the hot engine. Be very careful, however, for when you open the hood hot steam may burst out and cause burns!
Make sure you have your vehicle’s preferred brand of coolant and a couple of bottles of water in the trunk of your car just in case you find yourself in this situation. When your engine is turned off and cool again, put some coolant or water into your car’s radiator if you notice the fluids are low. Although you should try to be careful and not hurt yourself when trying to screw off the radiator cap because of extremely high temperatures.
If you have some gloves in your car, put them on top and use a towel to open the cap. Start to open the cap slowly and loosen with a quarter of a turn, to let out the pressure that has built up from the coolant expanding when it gets hot.
Then completely open the radiator cap and slowly add coolant. Put a mix of half water and half antifreeze until the liquid comes to the “full-line”. Also, add some coolant to the small, clear plastic overflow reservoir affixed to the side of the radiator. Afterward, put the cap back on and turn on the engine, the temperature gauge should either go back to normal or the red warning light will disappear. If that does happen, you can set back on the road carefully while observing the temperature gauge or light.
Reasons For Your Car Overheating
There are some reasons why your car has decided to overheat. Here are some aspects of your automobile you should check before you hit the road without any overheating issues.
Lack Of Oil – Indirectly, oil is responsible for cooling down the engine, as it lubricates the engine and lowers the heat from the forces of friction. Sometimes problems with sealing or a leak in the gasket lets oil enter parts of the engine and rattles things up, while reduction in lubrication within specific parts of the car’s engine can increase friction and heat.
When this heat accumulates inside the engine and crosses the threshold, it means bad news for the engine. For instance, the engine could fuse itself together, while high amounts of heat can make some engine components blow up!
Head Gasket Problems – The head gasket is connected to the engine block and the head of the cylinder, and has the special purpose of thermally expanding whenever there is an increase in the engine’s temperature. Due to this reason, the gasket stops the coolant lines from mixing with the oil housing.
Gaskets usually malfunction when they aren’t ready for the driver to step on the gas pedal. A gasket failure could cause the coolant to fail and leak into the oil circulatory channels, causing the formation of sludge in your car’s engine. This is an issue that builds up slowly and can take some time to notice, but the easiest way to find out if you have a problem with your head gasket is to check your water temperature. If the gasket is higher than its default configuration, it needs to be repaired by dealers of used cars serving Santa Ana.