How to Handle a car Overheating
Car overheating is the significant rise in the temperature of a vehicle. A car’s cooling system consists of a radiator, water pump, thermostat, and coolant.
When one of the components is faulty, the cooling system is unable to regulate the temperature so overheating occurs.
Causes of Overheating
There are several causes of overheating in a car. However, we’ll only highlight the three most common ones:
Radiator leakage: If a radiator is broken and leaking its content AKA coolant, the car will have little to no coolant when its temperature spirals.
Damaged water pump: The water pump is responsible for circulating the coolant in the radiator within the engine to keep it from overheating. When it is unable to do this due to stiffness or leakage, overheating is imminent.
Malfunctioning thermostat: A thermostat is the temperature sensor within the cooling system of a car. It triggers the circulation of coolant within an engine after it senses its high temperature. If a car’s thermostat is malfunctioning, it is unable to sense the temperature changes so overheating occurs.
Solutions to Overheating
Overheating is a car problem that often catches car owners unaware in traffic or on an unfamiliar and deserted road during a road trip. Here are some tips on how to handle the situation:
- Pull over and open your bonnet
You need to compose yourself at this moment. Watching steam come out of your open bonnet might trigger a rush of intrusive thoughts but stay calm and let your engine cool for 30 minutes. Make sure you open your bonnet carefully to prevent any burns.
Survey your car’s temperature
The dashboard of most vehicles usually has a temperature icon that signals the car’s temperature status while it is in motion. Ensure that this icon/feature is still working. If your vehicle has a temperature dial, take note of the number it is on too.
- Check the radiator
Always use a glove or rag to open the radiator to avoid burns. Top the radiator up with water but ensure that you maintain a safe distance in case the water spirals up. If the water from the radiator spirals up, wait for another 15 to 30 minutes before you add some more water.
- Check the water pump
Look thoroughly at your car’s engine for any dent that might be causing a leakage, especially around the water pump. Place a rag on the water pump and squeeze it gently. This will let you know if it is stiff and it will help you circulate the water too.
It is advisable to wait for 15 minutes after doing these procedures before starting the car again. Monitor the temperature icon closely so you know if you need to pull over and top it up with water again.
Get your mechanic to examine your car and fix the issue quickly. Play your role by adding water to your radiator daily and servicing your car bi-monthly.
Share this blog post with everyone you know to help them learn what they should do if they encounter an overheating car!