With hot weather on its way, more and more cars are bound to overheat. Although it might seem rare in modern cars, there are still several reasons why you might get stranded on the side of the road on a particularly warm day. Whether you are in stop-and-go traffic or zooming along the highway, it can happen to you at virtually any time. That’s why we’ve put together a post on what to do if your car overheats.
According to eSurance, engine overheating is often caused by a faulty cooling system. This includes the water pump, radiator, and a network of hoses among other things. It is common for radiators to get clogged with dirt and debris if they are not flushed out for years on end, and water pumps can wear out within a decade. Leaks happen often as well, making it especially important for you to check fluids regularly.
If your car overheats, pull over right away. Avoid opening the hood until you know it is safe—you should almost never open the radiator cap as this can scold you. Overheating can cause catastrophic damage to both you and your car, so be sure to pay attention to your temperature gauge as you drive.
Always carry water in your car. This can be used to drink and to fill your coolant system. Open the antifreeze/coolant reservoir and pour the water in. This can get you to a nearby shop or gas station if you have enough.
Still stuck? Crank up your heater and roll the windows down. Heaters use heat from the engine, making this a good way to cool the engine. If all else fails, call AAA or a towing company.