What to Do if Your Car Overheats
23 Jul 2018
A car has many ways of letting its driver know that something is wrong. When a car overheats, it is simply becoming too exhausted to carry on, but if you are quick enough, you may be able to get home in time to let it cool down. Otherwise, your motor might start to cause other, much bigger problems for you that could leave you out of pocket when you least expect it.
Here are a few things you could do if your car starts to overheat on the road.
Turn Off Air-Con and Open Windows
Air-conditioning is mostly powered by the engine when more fuel is used up to keep the temperature cool inside the cabin. However, it’s much easier for vehicles with an outdated air-con system to use up more fuel and energy every time the driver demands a cooler air flow throughout the cabin. In most cases, overheating happens in hot weather and usually with cars that have more miles on the metre, but should this happen to you, then you need to turn off the air-con and open your windows instead. Though it’s not quite going to do the trick and keep you as cool, what’s more important; the car or the weather outside?
Turn on the Heater and Blower
After trying the first suggestion, if your car still seems to be overheating and the problem isn’t getting any better, then turn on the heater and blower. Doing this will transfer the heat from the engine to the passenger part of the car (to the back), however, make sure your passengers are okay with you doing so before you decide on this. If the occupants agree to do this, keep the windows down and keep them as cool as possible too – you should be fine!
Shift into Neutral and Rev the Engine
When you hit traffic and your car is overheating, you may notice the temperature gauge increasing and you’ll feel the cabin getting warmer and warmer. If this is the case, shift the car into neutral or park and rev the engine a little bit. By doing this, you are allowing the water to pump and the fan to speed up, drawing more liquid and air through the radiator which will help things cool off.
Avoid Riding Your Brakes
The worst thing to do when your car is overheating is to sit through stop-and-go traffic. Not only does it burn your clutch out, but it also increases brake drag and the load on the engine, making it heat up even more than before. Your best bet is to crawl through as much of the traffic as possible, and when the gap between you and the car in front is big enough, move forward – little gaps will wear your clutch out and warm you up!
Park Up and Stay Put
As a last resort when you feel that your motor just won’t cool down, pull over to the side and sit around until the car cools down. Try to get to a car park or a side street where you can open all the windows and the driver-side front door to keep the air flowing through, turn off the ignition and wait it out. It’ll reassure you that you can drive your car home without the engine giving up on you.
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