You’re driving down the road and suddenly, you have a major issue. You see steam escaping from under your hood. Your dashboard engine temperature gauge spikes to the red zone. You smell something burnt or sweet. These are all signs that you have an overheated engine. Luckily, with our experienced mechanics, you can learn how to fix overheating car issues. We’ll get you back on the road in no time.
What to Do Immediately if Your Engine is Overheating
A number of issues can cause an overheating engine. If this happens to you, the reason doesn’t matter at the moment; you need to safely get your vehicle to our shop for auto repair. An overheating car engine can cause extreme problems if you don’t handle the issue properly.
First, safely pull over immediately if your engine is overheating. Resist the urge to pop your hood right away. This can cause burns from the hot steam or leaking water. Instead, wait 10-15 minutes or more if you can, with your engine turned off. The temperature gauge should go back into the normal range as you wait and the engine cools.
In many cases, it makes sense to have your vehicle towed to our shop. However, if this isn’t an option for you, you can carefully restart your engine and drive to our shop. You may need to pull over and allow your engine to cool several times. Turn off your air conditioning if you have been using it, and turn on your heat. This can help to pull heat away from your engine as you drive. When in doubt, call a tow truck! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The Most Common Cause of Overheating Cars
If your car is overheating, the problem is usually with the cooling system. As your engine runs, it will get hot. Your cooling system draws heat away and releases it through a radiator. If you have an issue with your cooling system, your engine will quickly overheat. So, when you have an overheating engine, this is the first place we’ll start looking for the issue.
Here are some of the most common cooling system issues we see:
- Cooling system leak, so you have no coolant (antifreeze) in your vehicle
- Broken water pump, causing it to completely fail or leak
- Clog in one of the cooling system hoses
- Broken radiator fan
- Faulty engine thermostat, which means it is not giving the cooling system a proper temperature
You may also simply have low levels of coolant. This is an extremely easy problem to fix. You should be doing a cooling system flush regularly as part of your vehicle maintenance. However, if you haven’t been keeping up with this maintenance, your coolant could be low even if there isn’t a leak.
The good news? Our mechanics have experience with engine repair and know exactly how to fix overheating car issues. Regardless of the problem you’re experiencing, we can help.
Regular Car Motor Oil Changes to Prevent Overheating
Did you know that low or dirty oil could cause your engine to overheat? Oil helps reduce friction in your engine, which means it stays cooler. If your oil is low or dirty, your engine could overheat even if there are no problems with your cooling system.
Most people need an oil change a few times per year. How often do you need to change your oil? This depends on several factors:
- Your car’s make and model
- What type of oil you choose (synthetic oil has many benefits, including generally needing changes less often)
- How often you drive your car
- The age of your car
- Other factors, such as if you drive on a lot of back/dirt roads
If you aren’t sure whether you need an oil change, give us a call. One of our mechanics can look at your car to give you a recommendation about the best schedule for oil changes. While you can simply stop by our shop, we recommend scheduling an appointment. By scheduling, you can ensure we have time to see you that day and you won’t need to wait long for your vehicle.
Learn more about oil changes here.
How to Fix Overheating Car Issues: Frequently Asked Questions
While we can’t comment on your specific situation until we see your vehicle, here are a few commonly asked questions we get about overheating cars.
How much does it cost to repair an overheating car?
Your auto repair bill will depend on exactly what is wrong with your engine. When you bring your vehicle to Kernersville Auto Center, we’ll look at your vehicle to figure out the problem and give you a price quote for the repair. You never have to worry about getting a big surprise bill at the end. We want to make sure you are comfortable with the price before we start with the repair.
Is it worth fixing an overheating engine?
While some overheating engine problems can be severe, most are simply small leaks. With a few replacement parts, your vehicle can be good as new. However, if you’re unsure, we can look at the rest of your vehicle as well to see if there are other potential issues that you’ll need to address soon.
Do you do cooling system flushes?
Yes! The best way to prevent your engine from overheating is to have your cooling system flushed regularly, as well as staying up to date on the rest of your vehicle maintenance. We can create a maintenance plan for you. Click here to schedule your appointment with one of our experienced car care specialists.