Anyone who has experienced an overheating vehicle knows how stressful and serious the situation can be. With the warmer summer months upon us, it’s more common for cars to overheat during long road trips. Here are a few tips to prevent overheating, and what to do if your car does overheat.
1. Check Coolant Level
Before you begin a long drive, check under the hood to ensure you have enough engine coolant. If you’re running low, it’s easy enough to add yourself, but many auto shops will check and refill for you.
2. Rest Your Engine
Cars, like people, need pit stops too. Give your engine a rest once in a while on long drives. Try to park in the shade when you can, and leave windows cracked to allow airflow through the vehicle.
3. Don’t Overuse A.C.
When it’s hot out, it can be easy to put the air conditioning on at full-blast and forget about it. Most newer model vehicles have thermostats to monitor the temperature and only use A.C. when needed, but if you have an older car, consider turning the A.C. off after the vehicle has cooled a while. Additionally, it helps to alternate between fresh air and circulated air to conserve energy.
4. Watch the Gauge
Most people tend to overlook the temperature gauge of their vehicle, but it’s worth checking now and then if you’re driving a lot during hot weather. If the car seems to be getting hotter, it might be time to pull over and rest for a bit.
5. Run the Heat
This one sounds strange, but if your engine is heating up, running the heat in your vehicle for a few minutes helps to pull heat away from the engine. Just be careful not to overheat yourself by sitting in the vehicle while the heat is on!
6. Don’t Push It
The worst thing you can do if your vehicle is overheating is to keep driving it. Overheating an engine not only compromises the safety of your vehicle but can lead to costly repairs. If you see or smell steam, the temperature gauge reads hot, or the car isn’t running properly, pull over right away and let the car cool.
Traveling during the hotter months requires a little mindfulness and awareness, but if you know how to prevent overheating and what to do if it happens, you’re well-equipped. Always make sure you pack water for long trips and have a phone number of a mechanic handy just in case of a breakdown. From all of us here at Quick-Set Auto Glass, drive safely out there!