Cars are prone to overheating during the hot summer months, especially when driving in idling traffic. Your car extended warranty may offer overheating protection, but you need to know what to do if your car happens to overheat while you’re on the road.
If your car’s temperature gauge starts to rise, your first step is to turn off the air conditioning and roll the windows down. Turning off the air conditioning decreases the demand on your engine, which may help it cool off. If this doesn’t work, try turning on the heater and blower. While this won’t cool you down, it will direct hot air from your car’s engine into the passenger area of the car.
If you’re sitting in traffic when your car overheats, put your car in neutral or park. You can try revving the engine, which makes the water pump and fan speed up, which can cool things off. Take care not to ride your brakes as much, as braking increases the load on your engine. Try coasting your car forward when you have enough room to do so.
If you feel that your engine is about to boil over, pull over to the side of the road and open the hood to cool things off. Do not open the radiator cap, nor pour any water on the engine until the engine has cooled off.
Why do cars overheat? Hot weather, idling, or driving up a steep grade on a very hot day can often lead to overheating. Therefore, cars can often overheat in the summertime. Your car may overheat if your car is experiencing low levels of coolant and water in the radiator. Your car’s cooling system may be leaking. If your car is overheating and you can’t find any reason behind it, it’s possible that your car’s temperature gauge is broken. If so, replace your thermostat as soon as possible. Driving with a broken thermostat may damage your car or lead you to drive in unsafe conditions.
Again, if your car overheats, make sure to check your car extended warranty to see if it offers overheating protection. Whether or not your car warranty offers such protection, you should be familiar with what to do if your car does overheat. Know that summer heat, driving in traffic, and driving on a steep grade are the common causes behind overheating. Such tips as turning off the air conditioning or easing off the brakes may help that temperature gauge go back down. If you do find yourself in a situation where your car is overheated, however, be sure you go see a mechanic as soon as possible and ask whether any damage is covered in your auto warranty insurance.