It’s very nerve-wracking when your car starts overheating! It’s a serious issue that can cause major engine damage and expensive repairs. Fortunately, knowing what to do when your engine is overheating can help you be prepared when it happens and prevent damage to your vehicle.
How to stop my car from overheating
- Turn off the air conditioner as soon as you notice your engine is overheating. This will reduce some of the stress on your engine.
- If you’re at a stop, place the car in park and rev the engine slightly. This will help to engage the water pump and get the coolant circulating through the radiator.
- Avoid pulling over if you can. Keeping your vehicle moving and turning on the heater (if you’re able) will help to cool down the engine.
- Pull over if you see smoke billowing out from under the hood or if you feel uncomfortable.
- Shut the car off and release the hood latch to allow air to circulate through the hot engine. Make sure to let the vehicle cool down a bit before attempting to open the hood because the steam or hot temperatures can cause injury. Never attempt to remove the radiator cap while the engine is still hot, because it may be under extreme pressure.
- Once your car has cooled down, turn the ignition to its first position (don’t start the engine) and see where the temperature gauge is at. If the temperature gauge is back to normal, try starting the engine.
- If the engine makes unusual sounds or won’t start, it’s best to have your car towed to the shop so our technicians can inspect it.
Other things that can help prevent your car from overheating in the future are regular coolant flushes and exchanges, as well as staying on top of scheduled radiator maintenance. Routine inspections can also help you fix any potential radiator damage or engine issues before they have a chance to get worse.
If your engine has overheated once, it will do it again. Schedule an appointment with us at one of our three locations in St. Paul or West St. Paul to address the issue as soon as possible!