Warm summer temperatures are on their way, and your car is one thing you don’t want overheating. Here are some simple ways you can keep your automobile’s temperature gauge in the right place while you’re on the road.
Turn off the air conditioning. If you notice trouble brewing when you’re driving, switch off your air conditioning immediately. Open your car windows and turn on the heater. Yes, the ride could get a little warm for you, but these steps will draw the heat away from your engine and hopefully give you more time to get to a service station or a safe place to pull over.
Be patient. Once you and your car are in a safe place, turn off the engine, pop the hood (making sure to stay out of the way of any hot steam), and wait. Stay put for at least 30 minutes—preferably more—to give your engine time to cool sufficiently before you resume your drive to a mechanic.
Safety tip. Radiators can get incredibly hot when a vehicle has been operating. If your car is having a problem, do not remove the radiator cap right away, or you risk being severely burned by the fluids inside.
Check and double check. When it’s hot outside, you must check coolant levels regularly. Coolant makes the boiling point in your car’s engine higher, guarding against an overheating problem. Frequent checks will make you aware of any leaks you may have in your cooling system.
Make friends with your mechanic. Regular maintenance is an important part of keeping your vehicle running smoothly and heading off small problems before they become major issues. Electrical trouble, a bad thermostat, and burst hoses can all cause overheating, and a mechanic knows what to look for. If you don’t have the tools and skills to maintain your vehicle, a trusted professional will be ready for the job.