What to do if your engine is overheating

15 July 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

An overheating engine can cause a lot of problems for your car. Not only can it cause a huge strain on your wallet, but it can also cause damage to the different components in your car.

It happens when there is a leak in your coolant system, mechanical failures such as a blown head gasket or simply when driving your car on a hot day.

In this article, we aim to help you resolve the issues of an overheating engine, outlining the steps you can take to eradicate the issue.

So what are some of the overheating car symptoms? Let’s take a look.

First signs of trouble

Warning Lights - check your dashboard, usually, the first sign of trouble is a warning light on your dashboard. For engine cooling system problems, the indicator will look something like this icon below.

Image result for engine overheating warning light

Unnatural smell - you might be able to smell burning rubber or generally a “hot” smell. 

Steam coming from the bonnet - whilst this may seem alarming at first, it’s simply your car telling you that the coolant is past boiling point and you should pull over immediately before causing further damage to your car.

What to do if your car is overheating?

If you have a warning light on your dashboard, or there is an unnatural hot smell and steam is coming from the bonnet, firstly do not panic! 

Pull over - Find a suitable place to pull over and call a breakdown service provider or a local garage.

Don’t lift the bonnet straight away - it will more than likely be very hot. What you may want to do is wind down the windows and turn the car off. This is to let the car cool down, whilst it not becoming too hot in the car for the passengers.

Once the car has cooled - open the bonnet for further cooling and wait for the breakdown recovery service provider or local garage to take care of the rest. It’s advised not to open the radiator cap as it could still be quite hot and if handled incorrectly, you may end up getting burned from the boiling hot temperatures from before.

Why your engine could overheat

There are numerous reasons why your car would overheat. Ranging from low coolant levels, cooling fans not working or other mechanical failures.

But one of the most common causes of why cars overheat is because it’s simply due to hot weather conditions where the car will be running at an unnaturally high-temperature level.  When this happens, serious damage to your car can occur, if you proceed to ignore the issue. Which is why it’s important to follow the steps above of pulling over, turning your car off to let it cool whilst calling for help.

Has your car had a service recently?

If you’re concerned about your car overheating in this hot Summer weather, it’s best to book your car in for a service where, at Lindleys Autocentres, we can make sure your coolant is topped up, that there are no leaks or mechanical failures, so that you can drive your car with peace of mind.

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