What to Do When Your Car Overheats

It’s especially common during summer, so knowing what to do when your car overheats is vital in order to avoid seriously damaging your engine. Always keep an eye on your temperature gauge—if it gets to a dangerous or even unusual level, follow these steps.

An overheated engine is not necessarily dire, but if you notice the temperature gauge is high, immediately turn off the AC. If it doesn’t go down, turn on the heat, which directs heat away from the engine, and roll down your windows so you don’t suffocate. If it’s still high, it’s time to check your coolant.

Pull over when it’s safe to and immediately shut off the engine. Wait for the temperature gauge to go back to normal before you open the hood to avoid getting burned! Once it’s cooled down, pop the hood and check to see if the coolant is at the right level. It’s a good idea to keep some in your car in case an issue like this arises, along with a jug of water. If it’s low, pour in antifreeze and water until the reservoir is full. For help locating the coolant reservoir, look in your owner’s manual.

It the problem persists, head to a mechanic to have it looked at. Driving too much on an engine that continuously overheats could wreck it!