With the heat wave we’ve been experiencing, how do I prevent my vehicle from overheating?
The best way to prevent your vehicle from overheating is by keeping up with routine maintenance so all fluids, such as coolant, are checked regularly. If you are going on a long trip, I suggest you have a gallon of distilled water and a gallon of coolant in your trunk. Signs of overheating include the temperature gauge moving to the high range or steam coming from the engine. If you don’t have distilled water, bottled or tap water will do.
Engines most often overheat because they are working too hard, low on coolant or there is a problem with the cooling system. Less likely, engines can overheat from severe strain on an extremely hot day driving on a lot of inclines. Overheating may also be caused by a defective water pump or engine thermostat. Only a professional can properly diagnose the problem. The cost of an overheated engine may be significant because it can damage or destroy your engine. So the key is in preventing overheating.
Should you see your engine overheating, you want to do the following:
• Pull off to the side of the road as soon as possible, given that you can pull off safely.
• Rev the engine by stepping on the gas before shutting the vehicle off.
• Shut the vehicle off. If you cannot pull over immediately, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows. Cranking the heat up will actually help drain heat out of the engine.
• Open the hood carefully to prevent burns. You may want to wait a few minutes for the engine to cool off.
• When the hood is open, first look for obvious signs of leaking coolant.
• Top off the coolant reservoir with coolant or water.
• Call for help and if you don’t have AAA or service available from your vehicle’s manufacturer, wait for 20 minutes for the engine to cool before continuing with your drive to a service station.
• If you’re stuck in traffic, put the vehicle in neutral and your fan and heat on high.
• If your temperature gauge goes back to hot or the engine gets steamy, pull over and repeat the steps above.
• Get to a service station as soon as possible, as prolonged overheating will lead to significant damage to your engine and potentially other components of the vehicle.
If you’re in the area, please visit us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Service Departments before you go on an extended trip or confirm your vehicle has been recently serviced. If your vehicle is overheating, get your vehicle in for maintenance as soon as possible. For your convenience, you can schedule service on line 24/7.