How to Prevent Your Car From Overheating
Summer time! The call of the open road, the wind in your hair, and in the rear view mirror (in an ideal world with no traffic that is), and all of the sudden… steam!? Unfortunately car problems can put a wrench in the perfect summer day. But being planning ahead in your car maintenance can help prevent that. Here are some things that you can do this summer to help prevent your car from overheating:
Coolant – Fresh and Plentiful
Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is what keeps your engine cool as it is running. A common cause of overheating is due to low coolant levels. Before long trips be sure to check that your coolant is full enough, and add any as needed to ensure a safe, and cool, journey. Additionally it is important to ensure your coolant is fresh, as if the coolant is old it can leave deposits and cause poor coolant flow. If you need to refresh your coolant, auto shops can run a cleaning agent through your engine and radiator to melt the deposits.
Check your radiator cap
Your radiator cap helps to maintain pressure on the system to prevent boiling over and overheating. The spring in the radiator cap needs to be strong, to ensure it stays properly fastened. If it is weakened at all, it cannot maintain the pressure, which will cause your engine to overheat.
Clean your radiator
Debris build up can block the airflow through your radiator and cooling systems in your vehicle, causing it to overheat. A simple way to clear this up is to clean away the debris that is covering the intakes in those area. Debris could be dirt, leaves, pollen build up, etc. Additionally, your air conditioner condenser sits in front of your radiator, which means air can’t get through the condenser.
Check your drive belt
Your drive belt runs the circulation system of your car. If the drive belt breaks, many things do not function: the water pump, coolant circulation, water pump to your alternator. With all of these pieces gone, your engine immediately overheats. During routine maintenance, your mechanic should check for wear and cracking.