cartoon aqua car with engine on fire

What Do I Do If My Engine Overheats?

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do If Your Engine Overheats

There’s nothing more exciting than being able to go on a road trip with friends. However, if you don’t properly prepare your vehicle it could lead to some problems, in particular, an overheating engine. If you’ve never experienced an overheating engine, you might be wondering, “What should, or shouldn’t I do?” Keep reading for our do’s and don’ts for handling an overheating engine.


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What should I do?

engine temperature gauge needle at hot
  1. Turn off the A/C and turn on the heat. This will help lower the stress on the engine and pull heat away from it as well. You may be uncomfortable for a little bit, but it’s better than paying a lot of money for repairs.
  2. Pull over to a safe area. Shutting off your car is the most important thing you need to do, so you need to find a safe area to pull over. Once safely parked, shut off your vehicle and call for a tow truck.
  3. Check coolant levels and add more if possible. After allowing your car to cool, check your coolant levels. If they are low, and you have coolant on hand, be sure to top it off before driving to a service center.
  4. Turn your engine on again. If you have followed these steps, your vehicle has cooled, and you aren’t getting your vehicle towed, drive to the nearest service center. If your vehicle overheats again, pull over and let it cool.

What should I not do?

  1. Do not panic. If you get stressed, you may not think straight and make a mistake when trying to cool down your engine.
  2. Do not continue to drive. The longer the engine runs, the more significant the damage will be when you get to a service center.
  3. Do not open your hood immediately. After pulling over and shutting off the engine, allow it to cool before you open your hood. Stream or smoke from under the hood could seriously burn you.
  4. Do not ignore the problem. Even if you add more coolant, an overheating engine will not have solved its problem. Bring your vehicle to a service center to figure out the problem and get it fixed.

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Interested in learning more tips and tricks for maintaining your vehicle? Check out the Broadway Credit blog for more posts just like this one!