Cooling Down an Overheating Engine

An overheating engine is a bad thing.  It can cause your car to shut down in the short term, and letting it continue to overheat is taxing on your car and can lead to more serious damage very quickly.  You’ll want to get your overheating car down to Greenwood’s Seattle body shop as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, here are some tips to cool down your car so that you don’t damage it further before you can bring it in:

  • When you notice your car overheating, shut off the engine.  Give it a minute; do not open the hood if the engine is giving off steam or smoke.

  • When the engine has cooled down, open the hood and check the coolant reservoir.  This is a plastic jug-like structure fitted with a hose that feeds into the radiator.  Don’t open this unless you’re confident your engine has cooled down enough, as you can burn your hand with the blast of hot steam that may shoot out at you.

  • Use a rag to open the radiator cap.  Again, be careful that you’re not going to get burned by a blast of hot steam.  Fill to the top of the radiator if you need to.

  • If you’re out of coolant and you don’t have access to new coolant, go ahead and use water.  This won’t last as long as coolant, but it’ll get you out of an emergency situation.

  • Look at the hoses coming out of the radiator or the heater system.  Have any of them burst?

  • If you’ve got the engine cooled down and the coolant replaced, try starting your car again.  Watch your temperature gauge closely.  Run the heater if you can stand to.

  • If your overheating problem continues, have your car towed to the body shop.  Driving an overheated car more than you need to is only making your problem worse.