How to Avoid Engine Overheating

April 11th, 2013 by

Adding-CoolantIt’s not something you think can happen to you, but it happens to thousands of people every year: engine overheating. It often feels like it just comes out of nowhere, but there are always tell-tale signs and warnings that indicate when an overheated engine is likely to occur. Follow these basic steps to avoid the embarrassing “park and wait” that comes with an overheated engine.

Always Check Your Coolant Levels

This tip is especially relevant on longer trips. Gradually leaking coolant can lead to a seriously overheated engine if you aren’t paying attention. Even without a leak, coolant levels can begin dropping as it evaporates. Make sure you check it often and always use the right coolant for your vehicle.

Maintain Clean Oil

This cannot be stressed enough: get your oil changed when it’s due and always check your oil before a long trip. Oil is one of the most important ways to keep your engine cool and without good, clean oil, your engine will begin working harder and potentially overheat. Of course, if there are other problems, good oil won’t make much of a difference, but a majority of overheating engines are caused by bad oil.

Check Radiator Hoses

Radiator hoses are an often neglected part of the engine. Frayed or worn radiator hoses can lead to serious overheating issues. Luckily, these are usually easy to check and even easier to change if you know where to look.

Get Your Radiator Fan Checked

This tip requires a mechanic, but is very necessary. Your radiator fan must be in proper working order to ensure good air flow through the radiator, keeping the temperature down. A mechanic can check your radiator fan and replace or repair it if it is not working properly.

Watch Your Engine Temperature

Always watch your engine temperature as you drive. Immediately pull over if your engine seems like it’s about to overheat. Turn on the heat and open the windows to draw heat out of the engine. Pop the hood and let the engine cool. Pour coolant into the radiator and wait. Get your engine checked out as soon as possible if your engine continues overheating.