What to Do If Your Engine Is Overheating

If you're out for a drive in the summer and you notice smoke coming from your engine, you'll probably feel frustrated and scared. It is possible, and even likely, that your engine will overheat, and if you don't take immediate and appropriate action, the damage could be irreparable. Excessive heat in the engine can be disastrous.

Find out why engines overheat and what you can do if your car starts to overheat on the road with the help of Goodyear Auto Service.

To avoid further damage to your overheating vehicle, pull over immediately. Stop the car, get out, and switch it off. It is possible to take steps to determine the nature of the problem, but it is recommended that you have the car towed to the closest Goodyear Auto Service.  

There are a number of potential causes of an overheating engine, but it's important to first understand the role that the cooling system plays. By pumping heated coolant or antifreeze from the engine to the radiator, the cooling system maintains a consistent operating temperature.

While modern engines are generally quite sturdy, they can suffer irreparable damage if the motor's heat rises above the safe operating temperature and the devices designed to cool this heat distribution fail. the engine-essential hoses and gaskets  

Vehicle overheating can be caused by a number of issues, including leaks in the cooling system, clogged hoses due to corrosion and mineral deposits, faulty radiators, or malfunctioning water pumps. Problems with overheating could be avoided with routine checks.  

You're welcome to stop by today for advice on your coolant or antifreeze.

Vehicle dashboard thermometer registering 210 degrees fahrenheit

Take these safety measures for your car if you are driving and notice any of the following: the dashboard warning lights are illuminated; there is a strange odor coming from the engine; there is smoke; or you feel that the car isn't driving as it should.

  1. (1) Stop, take stock of the situation, and regroup

If you're having car trouble, the best thing to do is pull over to the side of the road, where it's safe and there's plenty of room, and shut the engine off. Overheating can permanently damage an engine, so don't risk it by keeping on the road if your car starts to overheat.

  1. 2. Only stop moving if absolutely necessary

In the event that you are unable to come to a full stop in a clear and safe area, maintaining a slow and steady speed may still permit a constant flow of air around the motor, thereby facilitating natural cooling. If you park your car with the engine running, the situation could quickly worsen, producing excessive heat.

What you said is correct. Turning off the air conditioner while driving and cranking up the heat could remove more of the engine's heat.  

The point is to get as much heat out of the system as possible. It is also possible to increase the rate at which heat escapes from a car by opening as many of its windows as possible.

Man standing by the front of a car with the hood open calling for help after the car overheated

At this point, calling for help from a service or roadside assistance company is your best bet.  

We have a 24-hour towing service available if you need immediate help. Possible additional costs exist. Find out more here.

Do not pop the hood after the engine has been shut off and the vehicle has come to a full stop. The coolant in the vehicle, depending on how long the vehicle has been running, may be getting very hot, and thus pressurizing, in the cooling system. Never attempt to open the hood of a hot car; wait until it has cooled down completely. The engine must cool down naturally before the hood can be opened.

It could take up to 30 minutes for the temperature gauge in your car to go from HOT to COOL, indicating that the car has cooled down sufficiently. It's possible that the temperature gauge in your car won't work unless the key is in the "accessory" or "on" position. It is essential to not start the engine at this stage; instead, turn the key to the "on" position solely to check the temperature gauge.

The engine of a vehicle can overheat for many different reasons. Some problems can be fixed quickly, like when you need to refill your antifreeze, but others can become permanent if not addressed properly.

The following are typical causes of automobile overheating:

Using too little or too much antifreeze or coolant in your vehicle while driving can cause serious damage. Add more coolant or antifreeze to bring it up to the level recommended by the manufacturer. Only use a mixture of antifreeze/coolant and water, 50/50, when refilling an empty reservoir. Refer to the owner's manual if you need help locating the coolant reservoir tank or determining how to refill it.

Coolant leak on the ground underneath a car with the hood up

The coolant reservoir tank could be empty if there is a leak. Coolant leaks often leave telltale puddles or stains on the ground.  

The coolant you use may be green, blue, or orange in color, and it will always have a pleasant aroma.

The function of the water pump is to pump coolant through the engine. A situation of overheating can occur if the coolant is dirty or has too much buildup to allow it to flow through the pump.

The engine's heat can be reduced with the help of the radiator and its fan by lowering the coolant temperature. If the fans aren't working properly, the radiator won't be able to dissipate heat as efficiently, leading to abnormally high temperatures.

Motor oil does more than just keep moving parts lubricated; it also keeps the engine at a manageable temperature. Temperatures in the engine could rise if oil levels are too low.

The thermostat in a car is similar to the one in a house in that it controls the temperature of the engine. If the thermostat fails, the engine may overheat because the coolant is unable to flow as designed.

Reduced air and coolant flow to and from the engine and related systems could result in unanticipated engine damage if the hoses were leaking, blocked, or ruptured, or if the belts were worn or frayed. Explore our Belts & Hoses offerings for further details.

A vehicle's engine can overheat if the coolant flow is compromised due to a clogged or blocked heat exchanger unit.

A little forethought while driving can prevent costly engine repairs down the road.

  • Consistently assessing the coolant level in your vehicle is a must.
  • Keep a gallon of water and a fresh bottle of antifreeze in the trunk.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on the temperature in your car.
  • Even on the hottest days, you shouldn't rely too heavily on the car's air conditioner.
  • If the engine starts to get too hot, turn on the heater to help cool it down.
  • To keep up with the recommended frequency of coolant service flushes, consult your owner's manual.

One of the most alarming symptoms of engine trouble is when it overheats. Checking your vehicle's condition on a regular basis will help you spot issues before they become catastrophic. Come to your neighborhood Goodyear Auto Service with any inquiries you may have about your vehicle's coolant or cooling systems.

Please call our towing service if you require immediate assistance. There may be a cost involved. Take a look at this page for further information.

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