Be prepared for engine overheating by always keeping your car’s recommended coolant and bottles of water in the trunk.
A car engine’s cooling system centers around the radiator which keeps your car’s engine cool. Drving generates lots of heat during the combustion process. It needs constant cooling to avoid pistons seizing up and snapping, or a head gasket blowing off.
The added heat of summer places a strain on your car’s cooling and electrical systems
When an engine is running, its pistons are moving up and down the bores at anywhere between 1500 rpm at idle to 8000rpm at flat-out which creates heat and friction. The engine operating temperature range for most cars is between 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
Signs of overheating begin with the water temperature gauge. It should be running at no more than 90 degrees If it starts to rise, then stop. Heed the warning!
Five things to do first:
1. Turn off the AC as soon as the overheating starts. Did you know that the energy used to make your car’s interior cool actually makes the engine hotter?
2. Turn on the heat for immediate (and uncomfortable) damage control – It sounds counter-intuitive, but it lets some of the excess heat get out of your car until you can get off the road.
3. Pull Over – You need to get off the road and do some more troubleshooting.
4. Rev the Engine – Put your car into neutral or park. Reving the engine lightly will help drop your engine’s temperature.
5. Open the hood. Please be careful. Of course you were prepared (because you read this). Don’t injure yourself trying to screw off a piping hot radiator cap! If fluids are low, add coolant or water to the radiator when your engine is OFF and cool again.
Coolant, a mixture of antifreeze (ethylene glycol) and water is a fluid pumped around the engine and kept cool with the help of the radiator.
Common causes for a clogged radiator are dirt, dead insects and loose debris such as stones. These will block the airflow through the radiator resulting in it overheating. Open the bonnet and you can usually see this clearly.
6. Get Help – These quick fixes are to be used if you find your car overheating while you’re on the road. There’s a chance overheating is an indicator of a larger problem with your coolant flow or something else.
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