Summertime temperatures can take their toll on your vehicle and discovering you have an overheating car can be alarming. We’ll discuss the symptoms of an overheating car and the possible causes behind it.
What you need to do if you see or suspect that your car is overheating
Firstly once you recognise the overheating warning light on your car – or worse still notice steam or smoke being emitted from your vehicle in places it shouldn’t – come to a safe stop on the side of the road if moving and then turn the engine off immediately. Sensibly evacuate the car being aware of the traffic surrounding you and get to a safe distance away from the car if you suspect the fire or heat is out of control. Calling out the police and / or fire brigade if the car is a hazard should be your priority and then call your roadside assistance.
If you believe you are in no personal danger from attending to the car whilst it is overheating, carefully approach the vehicle and attempt to open the bonnet to assess the engine. However, be aware that you could burn your hands if not fully protected due to the extreme heat and steam can be forced out from the bonnet on opening depending on the problem, so take all necessary precautions. Opening the bonnet will help let the car’s engine cool down slightly quicker and you should leave it for at least 30 minutes.
Checking the car when it’s safe and possible causes
Once you’re sure it’s safe, you can begin to assess the engine area to check for possible causes of the overheating. If you notice a leak on the floor underneath the engine – or even pipes broken near the coolant tank – then it’s likely there’s an issue with the engine cooling system. Coolant is vital during the summer to keep your engine at the right temperature and a leak or burst pipe can cause dramatic effects whilst driving. Try to avoid topping up the coolant if it’s low at this point, as scalding steam may return if the engine and surrounding parts remain hot.
Should you find the coolant reservoir full and appearing normal, then it could be another overheating cause which may require further professional assessment.
Regular routine maintenance to check your coolant
We can’t emphasise the importance of regularly maintaining your vehicle, even in the summertime. Checking the coolant levels and monitoring the temperature gauge when driving can not only save yourself a breakdown but also save your wallet in the long run.
Keeping to your manufacturers service schedule can also assist with these tasks and provide a warning should there be potential issues with the engine cooling system. Here at MCM Garage in Bath, we have assisted thousands of customers over the years, servicing their vehicle to ensure it keeps them on the road. Why not give us a call on 01761 415 501 or send us a message to book your next car service?