How to Cool an Overheating Engine
With the hot weather this summer has brought us, your vehicle could be at risk of overheating. Most of our A/Cs are on full blast anytime we’re in the car which puts increased stress on the engine and could cause it to overheat– even if you keep up on regular maintainence. It’s important to know what to do in order to remain safe if your vehicle overheats. Here are the steps you should follow:
1) Turn OFF your A/C
If you see your temperature gauge on your vehicle increasing, turn the A/C off and open your windows. Your vehicle’s air conditioner’s compressor runs off the engine. The extra workload caused by the A/C being on could be what’s causing it to run hotter. If you notice that the air conditioner continually raises the engine’s temperature, you should have your vehicle looked at as there may be more mechanical issues that need to be repaired.
2. Turn ON the Heater & Blowers
Will this may not be comfortable, it will help your vehicle’s engine and decrease its temperature. After you have turned your vehicle’s A/C off, turn on the heat along with its blowers. The heater draws heat from the engine in order to operate. This in turn will help transfer heat away from the engine.
Stuck in traffic?
Often the engine’s temperature may climb when you’re stuck in traffic. If you find yourself caught in a traffic jam with a hot engine, it is best to keep your car in neutral and rev the engine a little. This will make the water pump and radiator fan speed up, which will aid in cooling the engine.
It is also best to avoid riding the brakes. Brake drag can actually increase the load on your vehicle’s engine. As traffic slowly moves forward keep a larger gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you so you do not have to ride the brakes. This will help to keep the brakes and engine from building extra heat.
Still not working?
If the steps above do not help cool your engine down, you may have a larger problem. If you notice the engine temperature climbs out of control, it is important that you immediately pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and open the hood to let the heat out of the engine bay. Under no circumstances should you try to work on the engine or open the radiator. The water and coolant mix in the radiator is pressurized when it’s hot. If you were to open the cap it could cause hot coolant to spray out causing major burns.
Your vehicle’s engine can overheat for a number of different reasons. If this happens, it’s always, best to bring your car to the experts here at V&F to ensure the overheating is not caused by a more serious problem.