Most cars overheat because of, you guessed it, excessive heat. With a sizzling Australian summer underway, it didn’t take long for the scorching sun to take full effect. If, when you’re driving, you notice that the temperature indicator on your dashboard rises or the warning light appears, it is an important indicator that you need to cool your car down before the engine ceases altogether.
There could be various reasons why your car is overheating – for example, it could be a problem with your radiator or it could be a leak in your water-tank system. Let’s take a look at how you should handle an overheated car.
- First sign of overheating
Shut off your air conditioner and open all your windows. By doing this it will decrease the load of heat on the engine and help it to cool off.
- If it continues to overheat
You should turn on the heater and blower. By doing so, it transfers the heat from the engine to the passenger compartment of the vehicle. This will work for your overheated engine, but it might become unbearably hot inside the car, especially on a hot day.
- If you’re stopped in traffic
If you’re stopped in traffic and the temperature gauge is rising, put your car in neutral or park, and rev the engine a bit. By doing so, it makes the water pump and the fan speed up. This will draw more liquid and air through the radiator. An increased amount of air and liquid circulation will help cool your overheating engine.
- Riding your brakes increases heating
Try not to ride your brakes. In stop-and-go traffic, go along slowly rather than moving quickly and then braking repeatedly. Brake-drag increases the load on the engine and makes it heat up. If traffic is crawling, move up only when the gap between you and the car in front of you becomes long enough to move on.
- Your car feels like it’s about to die on you
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.
If you must add water when the engine is still a little warm, add the water slowly while the engine is running in neutral or in the parked position.
Of course, 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 today.