Triple digit temperatures are in the forecast. That kind of heat can do a number on your vehicle. Overheating is one of the most common summertime car problems. With a little prevention and alertness, you can keep overheating from causing big problems with your car, truck, or SUV.
Although you can’t control the temperature outside, you can help to keep your vehicle from overheating. Regular vehicle maintenance, including watching for leaks, electrical failure, a burst hose, and water pump or thermostat problems are the usual suspects when it comes to overheating. Your service tech can usually spot these kinds of problems during routine maintenance checks, so be sure to make those regularly scheduled maintenance appointments.
Another way you can help your car stay cool is to check the fluids. Make sure your car, truck, or SUV has the correct level and mixture of coolant and water, which is essential to avoid overheating in the summertime.
There are some signs to watch for that can indicate that your car is getting too hot. If you see steam escaping from under the hood, there is obviously a problem. Often, though, there are no outward signs that your car is overheating. Keeping an eye on your engine’s temperature gauge, though, is the best way to know if your car is losing its cool. Overheating can happen quickly, so if you are doing a lot of driving on a hot day, be sure to keep an eye on that needle.
If you do find that your car is overheating there are a few things you should do. If you are running your car’s air conditioner, turn it off and turn on the heater. This helps to draw heat from the engine and cools it down. If the temperature needle doesn’t start falling right away or if it is in the red zone, find a place to pull over and stop. Turn off the engine and pop the hood. Be prepared to wait for a least a half hour, if not longer, for the engine to cool down. Find the closest service station. It is likely that your car has an underlying mechanical problem, which can lead to serious safety issues.
Never pop the radiator cap before the engine has cooled sufficiently. The coolant inside the radiator is very hot and under serious pressure. Releasing the cap can result in an explosion of burning fluid.
To make sure your car can handle the summertime heat, schedule an appointment with Crossroads’ Service Department. They can check your car over and make sure it won’t lose its cool and you won’t either.