What To Do If Your Car Overheats
While your best bet is to get help from a mechanic, your safest bet is to be prepared.
If your car overheats, follow these simple steps:
- Do Not Drive More Than a Quarter Mile
- Have it Towed
This will avoid further damage to the engine.
- Pull Over to a Safe Location
Once in a safe location, turn off the engine.
- Do Not Open the Hood
Wait until the car has completely cooled or the temperature gauge has moved from hot to cool.
- Check the Coolant
Look in the owner’s manual if you are unsure where the coolant reservoir tank is.
- Make Sure the Radiator Cap is Cool Before Opening it
Slowly twist it off with a towel and beware of any hot steam. If needed, fill coolant to the top of the radiator. Put the radiator cap back on.
- Check the Upper or Lower Radiator Hose
Make sure none of the radiator or heater hoses have not been blocked, disconnected or burst.
- Restart the Engine
- Carefully Monitor the Temperature Gauge
If you see it crossing the optimal mark again, pull over to a safe location and turn the engine off.
Store these essential items in your car:
- Tool kit
- Working flashlight
- Non-perishable foods