Overheating happens when there is an issue within the cooling system and heat cannot escape the engine compartment. The issue could be something small like a clogged coolant hose or if not addressed, could cause serious, if not permanent, damage.
What are the signs?
- Steam coming out from under the car hood.
- The temperature gauge on your dashboard spikes
- A sweet smell coming from the engine area
What should you do if your engine overheats?
- Stop the A/C and turn up the heat.
- Doing this reduces the stress on the engine and helps pull the heat away from the engine.
- Find a safe place to park for at least 15 minutes.
- This allows the engine to cool and your temperature gauge to return to normal. It is important to not open the hood immediately as you are at risk for burns from the steam.
- Check your coolant level.
- If you have coolant available, adding some could hold over until you can get your car looked at. Just know, that adding coolant won’t help if you have a clogged hose or a broken radiator fan/water pump.