Indian School: (623) 848-1970
Cave Creek Rd: (602) 888-2277

What to Do When Your Car Overheats

Imagine this scenario—you’re on a two lane desert highway. A drive out of the city helps to clear your mind. The Cimarron landscape fills you with inner peace as cacti and low-crested buttes fly by. Then, you notice steam rising from the engine. As your eye catches the temperature gage, the needle is pushing the limits of the red zone. Your car is overheating. Taking your car to your trusted auto repair shop in Phoenix, AZ could have prevented this catastrophe, but you need more than an “I told you so.” Follow the steps below if you find yourself in this situation.

Pull Over

Safely and immediately pull the car to the side of the road. No matter the time of day, turn on your hazard lights. It is the law in Arizona and most other states. Then turn off your engine.

Do NOT Open the Hood

You might naturally want to check under the hood to see what the problem is, but first, allow the car to cool for 30 minutes or at least until the temperature gage is out of the red before opening the hood. Remember, the reason you pulled over in the first place is that your car is too hot. You will almost certainly burn yourself by touching the engine before it has a chance to cool down.

Check the Coolant

Once the car has cooled off, open the hood. The first thing to check is the coolant level. Take a look at the large transparent container near the radiator, which should be filled with blue liquid. If the level in the container is low, refill with coolant.

Check the Hoses

The engine could be overheating because of a leak in the hose. You can check whether the system is working by squeezing the hose with your hand, but be careful—it is hot. You should feel pressure in the hose. That is from the liquid. If there is no evident pressure, there is a leak somewhere.

Check the Radiator

You can also check the radiator as long as you do so with extreme caution. Do not remove the radiator cap until the car has completely cooled. Use a rag to protect your hand as you remove the radiator cap. Tilt the lid away from you. If you plan to pour water into the radiator, make sure that it is not hot. Pouring cool water into a hot radiator can crack the engine block.

Start the Car

Once your car is filled with coolant and free from leaks, it should be clear to drive back to town to have your auto mechanic take a look. Be careful, however, and keep an eye on the temperature gauge.

An Ounce of Prevention

An overheated car is easily preventable. Always have an extra gallon of coolant in your vehicle, and check the coolant levels regularly. The best way to prevent the engine from overheating is to keep your car in tip-top shape. By making sure that you keep your car on a regular maintenance schedule with routine oil changes, you are ensuring that your car is well lubricated. This reduces the friction that causes your car to overheat. Routine maintenance will also ensure that you are replacing fans, belts and coolant fluids when needed.

Get Reliable Auto Repair in Phoenix, AZ

For the best in auto repair in Phoenix, AZ, choose S & J Auto Repair and Rental. We’ve been treating our customers like family since 1990 and are a full service automotive facility. Give us a call today to make an appointment to make sure your car is running like a dream.

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Indian School Location:
(623) 848-1970
Scottsdale Location:
(480) 590-4397
32nd Location:
(602) 935-3551
Glendale Location:
(602) 888-2277
Cave Creek Rd Location:
(602) 888-2277
7th Street Location:
(480) 686-8125