As the temperature rises outside, it’s common to see car engines heating up as well. Hot summer temperatures will contribute to boiling radiators and the evaporation of fluids in your engine.The job of the cooling system is to regulate engine temperature for maximum fuel economy, power and component life, and to help keep passengers cool. Your car’s cooling system is critical to the proper operation of your vehicle, especially during the hot summer months. Keeping an eye out for the following warning signs will help you avoid a costly breakdown. Does your car ‘s coolant light come on? Temperature gauge higher than normal? Heater isn’t working? Coolant Leak? Poor Gas Milage? These are all signs of a malfunctioning cooling system and you should have your car serviced as soon as possible.
But what do you do if If you notice your car temperature is going up while driving? Follow our tips below to protect your car from long term damage. If after the first step, your car isn’t showing any improvement, proceed through each step until your car returns to a safe operable temperature.
- Turn off the A/C system. Air conditioning forces your car’s engine to work harder and produce additional heat.
- Turn your air to heat and crank it up. You’ll be miserable, but transferring the heat away from your engine can help cool it down and prevent irreversible damage to your car.
- If the temperature is still rising, or a warning indicator present, pull over safely and turn your car off. If you can pop the hood from inside the car, raise the hood, but avoid touching the hood or engine for at least 30 minutes until your car cools down. Once the engine has cooled, check your coolant levels. It’s the clear plastic tank, usually near the radiator, if it’s empty, check under the car for any leaks and refill with your spare 50/50 coolant. Never pour cold water into a hot radiator, you could cause your engine block to crack from the rapid temperature change.
- If you see coolant under your car, you most likely have a leak and need to take your car to an automotive professional immediately.
- If you coolant tank is full, the problem may be electrical or mechanical in nature and could be anything from a leaking hose, worn or broken fan belt, bad water pump, or malfunctioning thermostat. Your best option would be to have your car towed to your automotive car care center for repair.
We hope the above steps will help you in an emergency situation, but if you notice your car often gets a little overheated on long drives or in high temperatures, it’s best to have your car checked. Having your cooling system flushed and refilled with fresh antifreeze will prepare your vehicle for the summer season. At Osceola Garage, we recommend every 3 years or 30,000 miles and we’ll check all hoses, water pump, heater, defroster, cooling fan, and belts to make sure your car is ready for high summer temperatures. Even with proper preventive maintenance, summer breakdowns can still occur, so we recommend every driver have a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicle and storing a gallon of coolant-distilled water mix in your car.