What to Do When Your Car Overheats

July 30th, 2018 by

It’s warm outside, but why is your engine getting so hot under the hood? While high temperatures are a common cause for air-based cooling systems to overheat, most new cars now use liquid in their systems which means that summer heat is likely not what’s getting to your engine. Unfortunately, newer cars overheat for more serious reasons like leaks in the cooling system, hose blockage, and damaged water pumps. However, when you’re faced with overheating, you can minimize the chances for additional damage by following these tips:


  • Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs: As a preventative measure, cars typically have a warning system in place that includes lights in your dashboard and a valve to release pressure before serious damage can be done to the car.
  • Stop and Turn Off Engine: When you see the warning lights going off, it’s time to stop your car and call for help. While it might be tempting to go poking around under the hood, the heat from the engine will prevent you from touching anything safely. Instead, wait until the engine cools completely and/or let a professional handle it. The engine should cool in about a half hour but touch it carefully at first to make sure.
  • Check for Common Issues: Located in a small tank near the radiator, a low or empty antifreeze reservoir is often the cause of overheating. If this reservoir is totally empty or you see visible signs of leakage, then you likely have damage to your hoses. If it is simply low, then you can add more coolant yourself.
  • Seek Professional Repair: In many cases, modern cars are not going to just up and overheat due to outside temperatures or anything temporary. Leaks, defects and other issues that need to be addressed are more likely and will require professional attention as soon as possible. Car repair experts can give you the service and parts necessary to ensure your car runs safely and further damage is minimized.
  • Prevent Future Overheating: Fortunately, there are multiple ways to reduce the risk of overheating including:
    • Change coolant regularly to avoid buildup of dirt that can cause overheating
    • Get coolant that is recommended by your car’s manufacturer to optimize results
    • Even if your coolant still looks OK, it should still be replaced based on your manufacturer’s recommendations

At Lebanon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership, we know how frustrating breakdowns can be. If you’ve recently experienced car trouble and are in the market for reliable, affordable new and pre-owned vehicles, we have deals to meet your budget and needs. Come in or call for the latest sales promotions and financing options.

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