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July 7, 2014

What to Do When Your Vehicle Overheats

When the temperature is rising outside to the point where it gets toasty, it is common for your vehicles battery to get a little toasty too. However, it does not have to be a major problem if you know what to do, even if you are in traffic. By following a few of these tips, you can make sure that the overheating of your battery leads to long lasting trouble before you can get out of traffic and to a shop.

When a car overheats, most of the time it is just because your coolant may be a little too low. If adding coolant does not do the trick, you can also add water. So, keeping an extra bottle of water in your car could actually be a life saver in the long run. You can often catch your engine rising in temperature when your gauge starts moving closer to the red or if the engine light is on.

Having your AC on during this time can add to the problem by putting pressure on your engine, which means turning it off and turning up the heater can actually help. Turning the heat up to full blast may be uncomfortable during your ride since it is already hot outside, but it transfers the heat away from your engine. This in turn can save your engine’s life in the long run.

If these steps fail, you can pull over as soon as possible and turn your vehicle off for 30 minutes before heading back out on the road. This will give your engine the opportunity to cool down. Once it has cooled down, you can pop the hood and check out the coolant tank. This is located near the radiator. If it is empty, you may have a leak.

If so, you will need to remove the cap from the tank with a cloth, just in case it is still hot and refill it with the coolant or water. It is not suggested that you add cold water to a radiator that is still hot unless it is absolutely necessary. In this case, you will need to pour it in slowly. The sudden change in the temperature could cause more damage.

When using cold water, you will need to make sure that your car is either in neutral or still running. You will not be able to run on water alone considering you are supposed to use 50/50 of water and coolant if you do not have enough coolant. You may have to pull over and refill it several times until you are able to make it home or to the shop, if it is a leak.

If you are stopped in traffic, you can help the water flow by revving the engine up while it is in park or neutral. However, if it is the type of traffic that has you in a stop and go mode, creeping rather than using the brakes a lot can help you avoid friction, which will only cause your battery to overheat more. Follow these few steps, and you should make it to the shop safely.

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