What To Do When Your Car Overheats

It happens, and it probably seems like it happens at the worst time possible. With all the advanced technology cars have nowadays, overheating can still happen no matter how new or old your car may be. There could be a multitude of reasons why your car starts overheating but it ultimately has to do with your car’s cooling system. Gaskets, water pumps, and rubber hoses can malfunction, along with the way you’re driving can cause your car to overheat. That’s why our team here at C&G Auto & Truck is here to tell you what you should do if you start to see your car’s temperature gauge start to move towards the ‘H’. 

Whether you notice steam coming from your hood, strange smells coming from your car, or the temperature gauge on your dashboard moving towards the ‘H’, here’s what you should do:

Turn The Heat On

This may sound redundant but when your car is working to cool you off, it’s having to work harder to cool itself off. Turning on the heat will allow your car to draw warmth away from the engine. In some cases, this can help reverse the overheating long enough for you to make it to a shop, but ALWAYS keep your eye on the temperature gauge. 

Pull-Over + Turn Your Car Off

This is the safest thing you can do in this situation, especially if you don’t want your engine to lock up. Pullover to a safe place and if you have roadside assistance, give them a call, if not, then a local tow company should be able to come help tow you to an auto shop nearby. 

Wait 15 Minutes

If you don’t have roadside assistance or want to try and handle the situation yourself once you’ve pulled over, give your car ample time to cool off. Temperatures under the hood can reach up to 230 degrees which can risk your safety if you act too soon. 

Try Adding Coolant

Once you’ve given your car plenty of time to cool down, locate your owner’s manual to find the radiator cap. Carefully remove the radiator cap (pressure builds up as a result of the coolant heating up), then slowly add coolant to the small, clear plastic overflow reservoir mounted to the side of the radiator (a quick Google or Youtube search of your make/model should show you how to properly add coolant if you need help). Once the coolant has been added and the radiator cap is back on, you can turn on your car again and proceed with caution to a local shop. 

Since adding coolant doesn’t solve the overheating problem, your next stop needs to be an auto shop. If you’re in the Myrtle Beach area, our team here at C&G Auto & Truck is more than happy to help you diagnose and resolve your overheating problem. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 843.839.3691 with any questions you may have!