Tips to Keep Your Car from Overheating
A hot engine can cause many problems, including forcing you to constantly pull over and wait for things to cool down. When you can’t get where you need to be, you know that your vehicle has a serious issue that won’t go away on its own.
But unlike other car problems, vehicle overheating results from a wide variety of factors. If your car is older and has more miles, it’s just more likely to overheat. Along with age and mileage, the amount of coolant or the cleanliness of your radiator can also effect the function.
When a vehicle overheats, the heat impairs each individual system. Just like with a human, the whole body of the car cannot function if it is too hot. Protect yourself and your vehicle by learning about the why behind overheating, and how to prevent it.
The “Why” Behind Overheating
To better understand how to avoid vehicle overheating, let’s look at some of the most common reasons behind why a car gets too hot:
- Low coolant/oil levels
- Debris in your radiator
- Old engines
- A blown head gasket
- Hot days with idling traffic
Some of these issues are preventable, but at the same time, you can’t really determine the weather or how old your engine is. But, for certain situations, you can avoid overheating by taking certain steps to keep things as cool as possible.
Sometimes keeping your car from overheating is just about looking ahead. If you know your car is likely to overheat on a hot day, avoid slower roads where the vehicle is likely to idle. Check the weather to see what times of day are optimal for cooler driving. No matter how new your car is, it’s always a good idea to keep the following supplies on hand:
- Water for cooling the engine
- Towels to deal with drips, spills, and to remove hot caps
- Tightly packed coolant in case you run out
- A basic tool box
- A flashlight with spare batteries
It’s also wise to keep track of the correct owner’s manual in case you ever need it to find specific parts. Of course, a spare tire and tire jack are also things that all cars should be equipped with. If you keep these basic items in your car, you’ll always have the tools you need to remedy basic car trouble situations. Stay prepared so you can avoid more problems.
If you don’t know much about cars, ask your local mechanic or a trusted neighbor to teach you some basic auto knowledge. This might include how to change a tire, how to properly check fluids, and how to determine which system is malfunctioning.
Other ways to prevent vehicle overheating is to ask your mechanic to look at the radiator. The mechanic should immediately know if something is wrong. He or she may even choose to flush out the debris and dirt that have built up, thereby allowing your engine to cool easier.
Despite these preventative measures, it’s best to get regular vehicle maintenance and repairs. No matter how careful you might be, an experienced mechanic can see a potential risk before it even occurs.
Even if it’s just a tune-up, a professional mechanic should see your car several times a year. Mechanics train to fix broken parts and systems, but also foresee potential problems that may occur later on.
Those who are aware of a chronic overheating problem should bring their vehicle in for diagnostics. Sometimes it’s as simple as flushing out the radiator. But, there are also times where overheating is only one factor of a bigger issue.
Save yourself from wasted time and frustration by bringing your car in for consistent tune-ups and inspections. The time you invest in each tune-up will pay off later and save you from unplanned malfunctions or replacements.
Think about it this way; people take their car in when it’s already broken. Imagine how many pitfalls we could avoid if we took our cars in before a problem occurs. This attitude saves money on parts and repairs as well as the time and headache that comes with an unexpected vehicle bill.
You should get a maintenance check every two years, or every 30,000 miles. If you use your car regularly for long journeys, it’s also a benefit to keep the vehicle functioning at its best. Do you enjoy driving your car? Help your adventures last as long as possible by scheduling regular maintenance checks.
Make the Time
Many automobile problems arise when drivers are just too busy to care. Don’t let your busy schedule cause you more problems in the long run. Take time to care for your car by watching the temperature gauge and checking and maintaining fluid levels. The best thing you can do for you, your wallet, and your vehicle is to take time to be aware.