What is the Best Thing to Do when Your Car Overheats to Avoid a Breakdown in Irving, TX?

Engine overheating is a common problem that many vehicle owners encounter at some point. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including coolant leaks, a malfunctioning radiator, a faulty thermostat, or a broken water pump. Recognizing the signs of an overheating engine and knowing what to do and what not to do in such a situation is crucial to prevent further damage and ensure your safety on the road. There are some essential do’s and don’ts when dealing with an overheating engine that we at Citywide Towing Service would like to share today.

What are Simple Things to Check & Do if Your Car is Overheating?

1) Pull over and turn off the engine. As soon as you notice the temperature gauge rising to an abnormal level or see steam coming from under the hood, pull over to a safe location. Turn off the engine immediately to prevent any further damage.
2) Open the hood carefully. Allow the engine to cool down for at least 15 minutes before opening the hood. Opening it too soon can result in steam or hot coolant spraying out, causing burns. Use a towel or glove to protect your hand when touching the radiator cap.
3) Check coolant level. Once the engine has cooled down, check the coolant level in the radiator or coolant reservoir. If it’s low, add a mixture of coolant and water according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Be cautious not to add coolant to a hot engine, as it may cause the radiator to crack.
4) Inspect for leaks. Look for signs of coolant leaks around the radiator, hoses, water pump, and gaskets. If you find any leaks, address them promptly or seek professional help. Continuing to drive with a coolant leak can worsen the overheating issue.
5) Clean the radiator. If you notice debris, dirt, or bugs blocking the radiator fins, use a soft brush or compressed air to gently clean them. A clean radiator allows for better airflow and helps dissipate heat more efficiently.

What Should I Not Do if My Car Overheats?

1) Do not remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot. Removing the radiator cap while the engine is hot can lead to the sudden release of scalding hot steam or coolant. Wait for the engine to cool down completely before attempting to remove the cap.
2) Avoid pouring cold water into a hot engine. Pouring cold water into a hot engine can cause rapid temperature changes, resulting in cracks or damage to the engine block or cylinder head. Wait until the engine cools down before adding coolant or water.
3) Don’t continue driving. When your engine is overheating, it’s important not to ignore the issue and continue driving. Doing so can cause severe damage to the engine, resulting in costly repairs or even engine failure.
4) Do not rely solely on the heater. Some people believe that turning on the heater in the car can help cool down an overheating engine. While it can temporarily reduce the engine’s temperature, it is not a permanent solution. Pulling over and addressing the root cause of the overheating is essential.
5) Avoid using a makeshift fix. Using products like engine stop-leak additives or pouring substances like eggs or black pepper into the radiator as a temporary fix is not recommended. These can clog the cooling system and lead to more significant problems down the line.

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Dealing with an overheating engine can be stressful, but following these do’s and don’ts can help you handle the situation effectively. Remember, if you’re unsure about what to do or if the overheating persists, it’s always best to seek professional assistance from a qualified mechanic or roadside assistance service. Should you find you need a tow or roadside assistance service in Dallas, TX and surrounding areas, contact Citywide Towing Service and let us help you.

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