With the rising temperatures in the summer comes risks for your vehicle. It isn't uncommon for us to see damage from overheated vehicles when it is hot outside, but this damage is preventable! When it gets hotter outside, you need to be mindful and take care of your car. If you ever experience a car that is overheating, don't hesitate to call Wrench! There are a lot of reasons your car may be overheating that isn't just due to the weather. If your car is overheating often, book an appointment with one of our mobile mechanics so we can get you back on the road.
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Signs That Your Car is Overheating
The most obvious sign that your car is overheating is steam coming out of the hood. Some people confuse this steam with smoke, so be sure to pull over and check it out. Whether it is steam or smoke, you should never drive if you have a big issue with your car. You might also notice the temperature gauge on your car is showing it is hotter than normal. Sometimes your car won't steam up, so keep your eye on the temperature gauge to know if your car is overheating. With those signs, if you notice a strange smell, it could also be a sign your car is overheating. If your engine gets too hot, they may give off a hot or slightly burning scent. It might come into the cabin of your car through your AC system. If you come back to your car after it being parked for a while and you notice a pool of coolant under your car, this could be another sign your vehicle is overheated.
What to do if Your Car Overheats?
- Turn Off The AC
If your car is overheating, turn off your AC immediately. Having the AC on will only make your car overheat more. It is likely that it is hot outside, but you'd rather be a little uncomfortable than damage your car.
- Turn On The Defroster And Heat
You probably aren't going to like this, but it could really help your car. Turning on your fans to the hottest setting at the highest speed will take the hot air near your engine and move it into the cabin. You are probably going to be really uncomfortable, but trust us, it will be worth it when you avoid the expensive repairs.
- Roll Down The Windows
Roll down your windows and let the hot air flow out of the car. Soon it will be extremely hot inside your car and if you can't pull over and get out, this will feel better.
- Put The Car In Park Or Neutral
Depending on where you are, you might be able to put your car in park or neutral. If you can, do it! While you are in park or neutral, rev your engine just a little to try and get the coolant flowing. Lightly push on the gas pedal, but don't exceed 2 RPM's or you could damage your car even more.
- Get Off The Road
If nothing is working, your best bet is to just pull over. If you continue driving with an overheating car, you could cause a ton of costly damage. Not only that, but it's just not safe to drive a car in that condition. Pull over and call for help if you need to, you won't regret it. Be sure to wait at least 15 minutes before you try to get back in your car, sometimes a break might be enough to save your car.
What Causes A Car To Overheat?
- A Leak in the Cooling System
This is the most common cause for a car to overheat. There are many places where a leak can occur including your radiator or water pump. If you thing there is a leak in your cooling system, you should add a little bit of coolant and book a mobile mechanic as soon as possible!
- Coolant Issues
Sometimes there is just something wrong with the coolant in your car. You always want to be sure you are putting the right kind of coolant because a small mistake can cause your car to overheat. To prevent this, we recommend seeing one of our mechanics and keeping up with your maintenance services.
- Blocked Hoses
Overtime your hoses can develop issues. If your car is overheating, they could be worn out, causing leaks, or they could be blocked. When the hoses get blocked, your car won't be circulating coolant properly. See a mobile mechanic and get your hoses checked if you think this might be the cause of your car's issues.
- Radiator Issues
If your radiator has blockages or leaks, then it won't be pulling heat out properly. In the radiator, the fan could also be broken. A broken radiator fan will also cause your car to overheat. Be sure to get this checked out by a Wrench mobile mechanic!
- A Broken Water Pump
Without a working water pump, your car won't have the right pressure to move the coolant throughout the system. This could be due to erosion, leaks, cracks, and more.
- A Bad Thermostat
The thermostat is what allows coolant to flow through the system and if it's not working correctly, the flow of coolant won't be working either. This will then cause your car to overheat very easily.
How Can I Prevent This?
Prevention is key, although overheating will arise if you have any of the mechanical issues listed above. There are ways to prevent overheating and prevent further damage that everybody should know. It will save you time, money, and lots of headaches.
- Park in the Shade or Get a Sun Shade
If the weather is hot, try to park your car in the shade. When you return, the engine won't start as hot as it would if you parked in the sun. If you can't park in the shade, think about investing in a sun shade for your car. They aren't insanely expensive and you can find one that fits your specific model.
- Crack Your Windows
You could also try cracking your windows when you leave your car. This will allow airflow rather than the hot air in your cabin just getting warmer and warmer like an oven.
- Check The Temperature
When you are on the road, you should always keep an eye on your temperature gauge to see if it gets too high. Then you should take the proper steps in order to avoid making the problem worse.
- Add Some Coolant
If you are worried about your car in the hot weather, add some coolant! But be sure to wait and let the car cool down before you touch anything. You should be adding half coolant and half water. You should be checking the coolant level to make sure the car always has enough.
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