In the case that your car is overheating, most cars are equipped with warning lights and a pressure release valve before any damage is done to the engine. The worst thing to do when these signs arise is to keep driving. When the warning lights come on, immediately pull over and turn off your engine.
1. Pullover and Turn off Your Engine
There is nothing worse than driving your car after the warning signs have gone off. Your vehicle is giving you signs for a reason to listen to them.
Some of the most common signs that your car is overheating:
• Steam or water vapor which looks like smoke,
• The needle on your temperature gauge creeps up quickly past the normal limit
• Unusual smells coming from the engine
2. Do Not Open the Hood Until the Car Has Turned Off
Check that the temperature gauge has moved from hot to cool. Once you have given some time and everything has cooled down, check the coolant (also known as antifreeze) level in the radiator. Use a towel or something to protect your hands when twisting off the radiator cap. If you notice that there is coolant missing, fill it to the top of the radiator and then twist the cap back on.
Once you feel confident that everything has been fixed, restart the engine and make sure to monitor the temperature gauge.
Quick Tip: Before any road trip, check that you have your owner’s manual as a helpful guide and stock up on coolant, tool kits, flashlights, and food/water.
3. Call for Help
If you are an experienced driver or confident enough to know what to do in case your car is overheating, follow the steps above. On the other hand, if you feel as though this situation is bigger than you can handle, feel free to call for help. There are services with 24/7 roadside assistance technicians to call.