How To Keep Your Engine Cool
Posted on January 18, 2021
Most of us have had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with an overheating vehicle. It is at the top of the list of reasons for automotive breakdowns and can be an unbelievable inconvenience. Thankfully, it is also easily preventable with proper and consistent monitoring. The experts in the CarHub want to help you avoid the trouble and damage that an overheating vehicle can cause.
Steps towards prevention
Before trouble can start, we suggest that you follow these simple, but effective steps to avoid overheating.
- Check your coolant every month (more often if you are on a road trip)
- Completely check your hoses for unusual cracks or bulges each month.
- You should try to keep to a strict maintenance schedule. Each Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, and Fiat has a specific maintenance plan, which you can find in your owners manual. This includes regular belt and hose inspections, cooling, and system flushes. You can do these things quickly at our MOPAR Express Lane.
- Always do all of the above before taking a long trip, because nothing worse than running into trouble far from home.
Knowing when your engine is overheating
It's not a surprise that higher summer temperatures put a great deal of strain on your cooling system. Because it has to work harder, if it not in peak condition you risk overheating your engine. While it can also happen in colder weather, heat outside means more heat inside your vehicle. There are some very clear, and some subtle, warning signs that your engine is in the process of overheating.
- Temperature gauge is high
- Temperature light is on
- Steam is coming from under the hood
- Unusual noise and a sudden loss of power
What to do when you engine overheats
The second you recognize the signs of overheating you have a small window in which to act. There are two ways to deal with overheating. If you don't see steam and you still have power, your engine might just need some fast heat relief. Do the following:
- Turn the heater on. While it might seem counterproductive, you should turn off the AC and turn on the heater to its highest setting. This will pull the offending heat away from the engine. We also suggest that you lower your windows because you don't want to overheat along with your car!
- Put some distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will allow for a stronger outside airflow increasing heat dissipation.
- If the first two tips don't lower your temperature gauges, it is time to get off the road. Find the nearest safe spot to pull over. Stopping in traffic is extremely dangerous to you and those around you. Once safe, turn off the engine and give it time cool down. Lifting the hood can help make the process go faster and warn those around you, you are in distress.
- Check the coolant levels. This isn't difficult because there should be a transparent reservoir near the radiator. If it is below the line you should add coolant, water, or a 50/50 mixture of both. If the levels are actually within range, there may be a bigger problem and you should attempt to get to a certified specialist as soon as possible. This may require calling roadside assistance.
If there is steam coming from your vehicle you need to get off the road AT ONCE. This level of heat can cause permanent damage to your engine. Follow all the above advice but never attempt to open the radiator cap while the engine is still hot/steaming. This can easily lead to severe burns. You really must get your vehicle to a service provider to make all needed repairs.