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If your vehicle is beginning to overheat, your first sign will be the temperature gauge rising and then billowing smoke coming from under the hood of your car. If you are sitting at a red light, the smoke can be scary and may cause you to worry immediately. Knowing what to do when your vehicle is overheating can help you be prepared and also prevent further damage to your vehicle.

Turn Off the AC

One of the first things you want to do at the sign of an overheating engine is turn off your vehicle’s air conditioner. The AC actually places more stress on the engine and can cause it to overheat. If you turn off the air, you should notice the temperature beginning to drop quickly.

Rev the Engine

Although it sounds like it would not work, if you are in a stopped position and your vehicle’s temperature is creeping up, place your vehicle into park and rev the engine slightly. The revving will help engage the water pump, which will send coolant through the radiator and also draw in more air to help cool the engine.

Avoid Pulling Over if You Do Not Have To

One of the first things people do when their vehicle starts to overheat is pull over. While it may seem smart to do, you are actually hurting your vehicle by doing this. You need to keep your vehicle moving to prevent the car from continuing to overheat. While driving around, turn on the heat. The heater will actually help cool the engine as opposed to cause it to warm up. If you cannot turn on the heater due to the temp outside, try putting the windows down as the circulating air will keep you cool and keep the vehicle slightly cooler.

Pull Over When Necessary

Although you should try to keep your vehicle moving as the temperature rises, there are some times you are unable to stop the vehicle from overheating and bubbling over. If your vehicle is at the point where billows of smoke are coming out or you are just uncomfortable with the situation, pull over.

Shut your vehicle off and open the hood. Allow the vehicle to sit and rest until the vehicle is cooled off. NEVER attempt to open anything underneath the vehicle until the car has had time to cool down. Accidentally opening the coolant reservoir or adding water to the engine before the vehicle is cool could have negative effects on you.

If your vehicle is overheating, you want to seek help from a qualified mechanic right away. There are a number of reasons why the vehicle could be overheating from a broken fan to a leak in the radiator. Either way, if your vehicle has overheated once, it will do it again. Choose a credible auto repair shop in St. Paul, MN and have your vehicle fixed today.