You are cruising down the interstate when your radiator overheats. This is your worst nightmare. In a moment of panic, you have no idea what to do. Your first instinct will be to pull over. You need to take the following steps when your radiator overheats:
While you pull over, turn your air conditioner off and turn your heater and blower on high. Doing this will help the engine transmit heat to the air.
Once you have finally pulled over, look closely to see if your engine is steaming. Steam implies immense heat. If you find steam, refrain from opening the hood of your car. Instead, make sure your car is off and wait for it to cool down.
You will find a lever under your dashboard that will open the hood. Pull it until you see your hood pop open. Make your way to the hood, find the latch and pull it open. Make sure you keep a good distance when opening it.
Under your hood, look for the plastic container (coolant reservoir tank) attached to a small hose. This hose runs to your radiator. Follow the hose and open the top to the radiator with a rag or article of clothing. Make sure your engine is 100% cool. If you are facing uncertainty, just wait a few minutes.
As a side note, coolant is a fluid that prevents your radiator from overheating. It transfers the heat produced to other parts of your car that will use it.
The radiator may or may not be filled with coolant. If it is low, completely refill it. Put the top back on, and examine the hoses for cracks. If all looks well, restart your engine.
Your eyes should be glued to the temperature gauge when you turn your car back on. It should fall in the middle. If it is close to the red zone, you have not solved the problem.
When your radiator overheats, you may still be able to drive your car for a short distance. If your car was filled with coolant, this is an option for you, but you must watch your temperature gauge. Any time it approaches that red zone, turn your car off, wait for it to cool, and start again.
Is your vehicle in need of repair or scheduled maintenance? Call us today at (336) 993-7697.