What to Do If Your Car Overheats: Five Must-Know Steps

February 26, 2018 7:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you ever seen someone pulled over on the side of the road with the hood of their car open and steam billowing out? It’s easy to diagnose an overheated engine in these situations. But what exactly went so wrong that the engine overheated? And, more importantly, what can you do if this happens to you?

Dealing with an overheated engine is ultimately going to land you in a radiator shop in Pendleton, OR. But, before you get that far, you’re going to have to manage the situation in a safe and resolute manner. Let’s take a look at the five must-know steps for dealing with an overheated engine:

  1. Get to safety: First and foremost, get off the road! Your engine will overheat, causing smoke and steam to billow out in front of your car and making it hard to see. Get to the shoulder as quickly and safely as you can, put your car in park and turn it off. Before you do any investigating, make sure you’re parked in an area where you and your vehicle aren’t at immediate risk.
  2. Call for help: Your first instinct after pulling over might be to pop the hood and check the radiator. Bad idea. Not only is your engine scalding hot right now, but your radiator cap is pressurized. Messing around under the hood could leave you with burns or put you in danger of pressurized coolant. Instead, call a tow truck and let them know you have an overheated engine. They’ll know what to do.
  3. Wait to inspect: If you’re unable to call for a tow truck, the next step is to wait at least 30 minutes to inspect your engine. Wait until everything has had a chance to cool off, then pop the hood gently and take a peek. Don’t touch anything! Just do a visual check of your engine to make sure nothing has catastrophically failed.
  4. Check fluid and hookups: If you have to drive yourself to a radiator shop in Pendleton, OR, there are a couple of quick fixes to go over. First, make sure your antifreeze levels are good, and if not, top it off. Filling it will help keep your engine cool for the short distance you need to drive. In this same vein, check to make sure hoses aren’t leaking or damaged. This could be where your overheating originated from.
  5. Get to a radiator repair shop: Whether you’re getting here from Step 2 (calling a tow truck) or you’ve had to drive yourself, your overheating experience should end at a radiator shop. This is where you’ll get answers to your problems and repairs that restore the cooling efficiency of your engine.

Overheating is a dangerous situation and an inconvenient one, but it’s also something that can be safely and efficiently fixed by the right professional. Get your vehicle safely to a radiator shop like Western Radiator Inc. to get it the repairs it needs to stay cool out on the road.

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