What To Do If Your Vehicle Overheats

Vehicle Overheats

Vehicle Overheating Tips in Sudbury, ON

With the summer season well on its way, road trip adventures are sure to be on the horizon. As an informed and vigilant vehicle owner, it pays to be prepared for anything and everything that may happen on the road. With the summer heat, long distance driving, and the prolonged use of your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the potential for your car to overheat is magnified. Continue reading below as our team of automotive experts here at Auto Depot Sudbury have compiled a list of tips that you can follow should your vehicle overheat.

What Causes My Vehicle to Overheat?

Vehicle overheating is a common issue that can occur unexpectedly, leaving drivers in a precarious situation. Understanding how to handle such an event is crucial to ensure your safety, prevent further damage to your vehicle, and avoid potential accidents. Overheating is caused by several factors including your engine being overworked, the outdoor temperature, the amount of coolant in your engine and a host of other factors. Should your vehicle overheat while you’re out on the road, follow seven steps to ensure your safety and the health of your vehicle.

1. Recognize the Signs

The first step in handling an overheating vehicle is to be aware of the warning signs. These may include a rising temperature gauge, steam or smoke coming from the engine compartment, an unusual odor, or a loss of power. Pay attention to these indicators, as they suggest that your engine is experiencing excessive heat and immediate action is required.

Recognize the Signs
Stay Calm & Pull Over

2. Stay Calm & Pull Over

When you notice signs of overheating, it's crucial to remain calm and composed. Find a safe spot to pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible. The sooner you address the issue, the better your chances of preventing severe damage to your vehicle.

3. Turn Off the Engine

Once you've safely pulled over, turn off the engine immediately. This will help minimize the heat buildup and prevent further damage. Avoid opening the hood right away, as the engine will be extremely hot. Allow it to cool down for at least 30 minutes before proceeding to the next steps.

Turn Off the Engine
Safely Inspect the Vehicle

4. Safely Inspect the Vehicle

After the engine has cooled down, protect your hands from any residual heat and use a cloth or a glove to carefully open the hood. Inspect the coolant level in the radiator and the coolant reservoir. If the coolant level is low, it may indicate a leak or other issues. However, it is important that you avoid removing the radiator cap while the engine is hot, as the high pressure can cause coolant to spray and cause burns. If you're unsure about the coolant level, it's best to call for professional assistance.

5. Check for Blockages

Examine the front of the vehicle for any visible obstructions that may be restricting airflow to the radiator, such as leaves, debris, or plastic bags. Clear away any blockages gently to ensure proper ventilation and cooling.

Check for Blockages
Add Coolant or Water

6. Add Coolant or Water

If the coolant level is low and you have some readily available, carefully add a mixture of coolant and water to the radiator. Be cautious not to add coolant directly into the radiator while the engine is hot, as it may cause the coolant to boil and spray out. If coolant is not available, you can use water as a temporary solution to help cool down the engine. However, it's important to have the cooling system properly flushed and refilled with coolant as soon as possible.

7. Seek Professional Help

Even if you've managed to cool down the engine and address the immediate issue, it's crucial to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic. They will be able to diagnose the root cause of the overheating problem and ensure that there is no long-term damage or potential for a recurring issue. Should you find yourself in the Sudbury, Ontario area, our Service Centre here at Auto Depot Sudbury is well equipped and more than happy to help you with your vehicle’s coolant flush service and inspection after a vehicle overheating situation.

Seek Professional Help

Experiencing an overheating vehicle can be a nerve-wracking situation, but with the right knowledge and actions, you can mitigate the risks and protect your vehicle from further damage. Auto Depot Sudbury is go-to automotive sales and service centre in Sudbury and the surrounding Northern Ontario region. Whether you’re looking to perform a coolant flush and vehicle health inspection, or if you’re in the market for a high-quality used vehicle, our team is here to help. Give us a call at +1-705-673-6079 or visit our showroom at 933 Kingsway, today!