By Sarahbeth Kluzinski | Submitted On June 29, 2018
Vehicles today are designed with motors that produce powerful amounts of heat. Every time you drive your car, the radiator transfers heat from the engine using thermal heat exchange, which prevents the vehicle from overheating. But in order for a car radiator to function properly, it must have sufficient amounts of liquid coolant running through its core. When it doesn't have sufficient levels of radiator fluid (coolant), or it is defective in some way, your car engine will over heat. In the case that your car radiator ever fails you, be sure you know exactly what to do.
What To Do When Your Car Starts to Over Heat:
When a car has just overheated, attempting to drive it further can risk harming the engine. You should never drive an overheating car because the engine (and other important inner components) can sustain irrevocable damages. It can also be dangerous to you and anyone in or around the vehicle. For instance, head gaskets can blow, engine parts can melt, and smoke can accumulate in large masses.
So the first thing to do when you notice that your car is over-heating, is pull over to a safe part of the road. It is recommended to try to pull into a neighborhood or parking lot if there is one there at the moment; otherwise, simply find a flat surface on the side of the road.
ALLOW THE ENGINE TO COOL
Once you have pulled over and turned the engine off, be sure to turn on your hazards to alert people of your position. This is especially important at night. Keep all car lights on in the evening if you are ever pulled over on the edge of a street. Many people make the mistake of opening their hoods right away and touching the radiator cap; this is a huge mistake! The car engine and radiator will be very hot and can cause second and third degree burns. Always allow your vehicle to cool off for at least fifteen minutes, depending on the amount of time spent driven prior to the break down. This way you can protect yourself from accidents and injury.
CHECK FOR FLUID LEAKS
When the vehicle has completely cooled, check around and underneath it for any signs of leaking. This could indicate a wide variety of issues, from a cracked radiator to a faulty radiator hose. If there is no sign of leakage, take a look at the oil. Remove the dipstick and concentrate on the color. If it is dark brown and sludgy-looking, this means the liquid coolant might be seeping into the engine. This can result from a blown head gasket or cracked engine block. Even if the oil looks normal, these damages may still be the underlying problem.
CONTACT A MECHANIC
The best thing to do in a situation like this is call a mechanic shop once you have the car pulled over. They are the professionals that can accurately diagnose the issue behind your overheating vehicle. When antifreeze and coolant aren't the answer, trust a licensed auto repair technician to figure it out for you. Use a directory to contact a towing service that can transport your vehicle directly to the auto repair shop, and give you a ride there too, all in the same trip.