The internal combustion engine (ICE) burns fuel within its compartments, to produce the energy needed to drive the car. This burning causes the temperature within the car to rise, reaching temperatures as high as 200°c. Overheating temperature.
Usually, the cooling system is up to the task of keeping the engine cool and functional. However, if there is a fault with the cooling system, the engine may overheat.
The actions you take when your car begins to overheat could determine if all you have to replace is your cooling fluid and a thermostat or you would be spending a lot more on repairs. Here are 5 actions to take when your car overheats to limit the extent of the damage.
Turn On the heater
Turning on the heater on full blast sounds counterintuitive but it is not. The car heating system channels some of the heat from the engine compartment into the cabin area of the car. Turning on the heater when the car is overheating can channel some of that heat into the cabin, allowing the engine to cool down faster.
It may not bring the engine to a normal temperature immediately, but it’ll speed up the cooling process.
Pullover and wait
Your best bet to minimize damages when your car overheats is to come to a stop within the safest distance possible and shut off your engine. Shutting off your engine stops the burning of fuel, preventing more heat from being produced. It leaves you to manage the heat already in the system.
Wait for the engine to cool down, if steam is coming out of the bonnet, wait until it stops, before opening it. It may take about 30 minutes to get cool enough, just wait for it, to avoid burns trying to open the bonnet.
Check out for leaks
When the bonnet is cool enough to be touched, open it up and check for signs of leaks in the radiator coolant. If you locate a leak, having a makeshift plug for it can give you a little more driving distance to visit the mechanic.
If you can’t find any leaks, you would have to pay more attention to the temperature gauge when driving subsequently till it is fixed.
Replace your coolant
When the car is cool enough, open the radiator cap and pour in your coolant. The radiator coolant is a 50-50 mix of water and antifreeze. After the radiator is filled up, ensure you pour some into the reservoir. After this, you can drive the car out, just ensure you pay attention to the temperature gauge subsequently.
Visit a workshop
Once you have filled up your radiator with coolant, your best bet is to go straight to a workshop to get it checked and fixed. If it is not fixed, your car is bound to heat up again, and this time you may not be so lucky. Some engines get damaged after one occasion of overheating.
Overheating can be caused by several reasons, and is prevalent during summer because of the higher temperatures. Stop-and-go traffic can also cause your car to overheat. Whenever you are in a condition where your car is overheating, carry out the above-named steps and you can carry on with your daily activities.
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