What to do if your car overheats

6th July 2016

When seasonal temperatures begin to rise, so does the likelihood of your car overheating. This is because the outside temperature can have a huge impact on the internal temperature of the engine if it is struggling to cool itself down.

Learn what you should do if your car begins to overheat on the road and what steps you can take to prevent this from happening with this helpful advice from The Malvern Tyres Group.

Prevent rather than cure

There are many factors which can cause your engine to overheat, as well as outside temperatures, and these may include issues with your water pump, thermostat or radiators. To ensure that vehicle components are all working smoothly your vehicle should have a regular car service.

The most common cause of car overheating is low engine coolant, and fortunately this is the easiest issue to combat. Simply keep an eye on your engine coolant levels and top up with a mixture of water and the correct antifreeze for your engine (which will be specified in your vehicle handbook), when this drops below the minimum line.

Be sure to check your engine coolant level once a month and before long journeys.

In addition, you should always carry a bottle of water in your car, especially when driving long journeys, so that you can act quickly if your engine does begin to overheat whilst you are on the road.

Being stuck in traffic on a hot day can cause your car to overheat, so if you find yourself in this situation you should switch off your engine if the traffic is at a standstill. If traffic is still moving, switch off your air conditioning and turn your heating on. While this may be uncomfortable, it will ensure that heat is drawn away from the engine and this will help it to cool down.

What to do if your car overheats

In the event that your engine overheats whilst driving, you should follow these steps:

  • 1. Stop and pull over as soon as safely possible, turn off your engine and wait for the engine to cool down.
  • 2. Open the bonnet and the coolant reservoir, taking care of steam arising from the container when you open it. Do not open the bonnet or remove the coolant reservoir cap until the car has completely cooled down.
  • 3. Fill the reservoir with water in between the minimum and maximum markings which are clearly displayed on the container and screw the cap back on.

After care

After you refill the engine coolant you should be able to drive on in your vehicle, however, you must visit a garage as soon as possible.

A trained specialist will check your engine for any leaks or other issues to determine why your engine overheated and they may be able to repair the damage for you.

Even if your car overheated because it was a hot day and you were low on engine coolant, you will still need to visit a specialist so that they can flush out the system and replenish the reservoir with the correct coolant solution for your vehicle.

If you have any further queries about what you should do if your engine overheats or require vehicle maintenance advice, contact your local Malvern Tyres Group centre where our trained specialists will be happy to offer information.

Buy tyres online with The Tyre Group for fitment at one of our branches in the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland Contact The Tyre Group incorporating Malvern Tyres, Discount Tyres, County Tyre, King David Tyres Ltd and AutoTyre & Battery Co. We have more than 50 branches located throughout the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland