What to Do if Your Car is Overheating

If you are driving along and your car begins to overheat, it's something you need to pay close attention to. Overheating is a sign that there could be internal engine damage or a problem within the vehicle's cooling system. Fox Run Auto is here to help break down what you need to know (and what you need to do) when your car overheats.

Pull Over

If you notice that your vehicle's temperature gauge is getting much higher than normal or you have a dashboard warning light come on that indicates an overheating engine, your best course of action is to pull over and let the vehicle cool down completely before getting back on the road. If you see steam or smoke coming out from under the hood, then that means the car is already overheating. Again, pull over and wait for it to cool down before doing anything. 

Don't Press Your Luck

If you do get back on the road after the engine cools down and the overheating persists, then you definitely have a problem that will require professional attention. You may want to pull over immediately and call for roadside assistance. Driving with an overheated engine is a risk, both to your safety and to the vehicle itself. You could end up causing major engine damage if you push the vehicle too hard while it's running hotter than it should.

In most cases, overheating is a sign of a cooling system issue. Here are some of the common causes:

Radiator Fluid - If you are low on radiator fluid (also known as coolant or antifreeze), it will lead to cooling system problems. You might have a leak in the radiator or one of the fluid lines, you may be low on coolant, you could have a clog in one of the lines or your coolant may just be old and corroded.

Water Pump - The water pump is what keeps the radiator coolant flowing and recirculating from the radiator through the engine. If it is not working properly, parts will run hot and cause the engine to overheat.

Head Gasket - The head gasket is a seal between the cylinder head and the cylinder block within the engine itself. It can become worn out or cracked over time, and it is a common source of overheating issues.

Any of these problems you would want to have repaired by a professional mechanic. Simply pouring water or more antifreeze into the radiator will only be a very temporary solution, and it may not work at all if one of the cooling system or engine components has damage. If you are adding fluid yourself, be extra careful. Wait for the engine to cool down completely, don't touch the radiator cap with your bare hands and watch for steam and pressure that will have built up inside the radiator. 

Cooling System Repair at Fox Run Auto

When your engine overheats, it's best to take care of the problem immediately. Call for roadside assistance or get your vehicle to an auto repair shop like Fox Run Auto as soon as you can. An automotive technician can diagnose the specific problem and make the necessary repairs to ensure the engine doesn't overheat again. You don't want to run the risk of damaging your engine to a point where it will be very costly to repair, rebuild or replace.

Call Fox Run Auto for responsive Mid-Atlantic roadside assistance and help with auto repairs for your overheating vehicle. Contact us at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online.



Car Care Tips
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