What To Do If Your Car Overheats

Most cars can overheat due to various factors, with excessive heat being one of the primary culprits. The sizzling Australian summer exacerbates the issue, which is quite common in regions with hot climates. It doesn’t take long for the scorching sun to have a significant impact on the temperature of the engine.

If your car overheats, it is important to take action immediately. When you’re driving and notice that the temperature indicator on your car’s dashboard rises or a warning light illuminates, it is a crucial signal that your vehicle needs immediate attention. Ignoring these indicators can lead to severe engine damage or even complete engine failure.

Several reasons can contribute to a car overheating:

  • Car Radiator Issues- A car can overheat due to various radiator problems. The radiator plays a critical role in regulating the engine’s temperature by dissipating excess heat generated during the combustion process. When the radiator malfunctions, it can lead to inadequate cooling and subsequent overheating.
  • Low Coolant levels- When a car’s coolant levels are low, it can lead to overheating because coolant is responsible for absorbing and dissipating the engine’s excess heat. Insufficient coolant can disrupt this cooling process and cause the engine temperature to rise.
  • Engine Oil Issues- If the engine oil level is too low, it can lead to increased friction between the moving parts, which can result in accelerated wear and potential damage to the engine. Insufficient lubrication can cause the engine to run hotter than normal, but it is not the main cause of overheating.
  • Car Cooling Systems issues- Overheating in a car is typically caused by issues within the cooling system. The cooling system is responsible for regulating the engine’s temperature and preventing it from overheating. When the cooling system malfunctions or encounters problems, it can lead to overheating.
  • Excessive car braking- Riding your brakes can indeed increase the heating of your car’s braking system. When you continuously apply pressure to the brakes without fully releasing them, it generates friction between the brake pads and the rotors or drums. This friction creates heat, and if the brakes are constantly engaged, the heat can build up rapidly.

To prevent overheating and potential engine damage, it’s crucial to take immediate action when you notice the temperature indicator rising or the warning light activating. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Safely pull over: Find a safe spot to pull over and turn off the engine. Continuing to drive can exacerbate the overheating issue. If you think that your car is about to die because of overheating, drive to the far left-hand side of the road, and open the bonnet. Stay there until things cool off. Remember, don’t open the radiator cap under these circumstances. If your engine has indeed boiled over, do not add water at this stage until it is cool enough.
  • Let the engine cool: Avoid opening the hood immediately, as the engine will be extremely hot. Allow it to cool down for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Check coolant levels: Once the engine has cooled, check the coolant reservoir. If the level is low, you may need to add coolant. However, be cautious not to open the radiator cap while the engine is hot, as it can cause severe burns.
  • Inspect for leaks: Look for any visible leaks in the cooling system, such as coolant dripping or pooling beneath the car. Leaks may require immediate attention from a mechanic.
  • Check the radiator: If the radiator is accessible and cooled down, examine it for any debris or blockages. Clean out any obstructions carefully.
  • Seek professional help: if you’re unsure about any of these points, be sure to call your roadside assistance or bring your car into your nearest Midas Service Centre. If you need further information about what to do when your car overheats, contact us

Regular maintenance, including checking coolant levels, inspecting the cooling system, and servicing the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, can help prevent overheating incidents. It’s essential to address any cooling system issues promptly to avoid expensive repairs and ensure the longevity of your vehicle.

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