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What to Do If Your Vehicle Overheats – Auto Repair in Downey

What to Do If Your Vehicle Overheats – Auto Repair in Downey


When your vehicle overheats it can be a stressful and potentially dangerous situation. An overheated engine can lead to significant damage if not addressed promptly. Knowing what to do when your vehicle overheats can help you stay safe and minimize the risk of costly repairs. Here’s what you need to know if your vehicle overheats.


Stay Calm and Pull Over - If you notice your vehicle's temperature gauge rising towards the red zone or if you see steam coming from under the hood, don't panic. Stay calm and safely pull over to the side of the road or the nearest safe location. Turn off the engine immediately to prevent further damage.


Allow the Engine to Cool Down - Once you've safely stopped the vehicle, give the engine some time to cool down. Avoid opening the hood while the engine is still hot, as this can release scalding steam and cause burns. Depending on the severity of the overheating, it may take some time for the engine to cool down enough for inspection. Be patient.


Check Coolant Level - Once the engine has cooled down, carefully open the hood and check the coolant level in the coolant reservoir. If the level is significantly low or the coolant appears to be empty, it might be the cause of the overheating. Do not attempt to open the radiator cap while the engine is still hot, as the pressure could release scalding hot coolant.


Add Coolant - If the coolant level is low, add a mixture of equal parts coolant and water to the coolant reservoir. Be sure to use the correct type of coolant recommended for your vehicle. Once you've added coolant, start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes to circulate the new coolant through the system.


Check for Leaks - Inspect the engine bay and the area underneath the vehicle for any signs of coolant leaks. If you see a coolant leak or any other fluid leaking, it's crucial to address the issue before driving the vehicle again. Driving with a coolant leak can lead to further overheating and engine damage. You can also bring it to our Downey auto repair shop for a detailed leak search.


Check the Radiator Fan - The radiator fan helps cool the engine by pulling air through the radiator. Check if the radiator fan is working by turning on the air conditioning. The fan should activate when the AC is turned on. If the fan does not come on, there may be an issue with the cooling fan system that needs to be addressed.


Do Not Drive the Vehicle - If the engine continues to overheat after adding coolant and checking for leaks, it's best not to drive the vehicle. Continuing to drive with an overheating engine can lead to severe engine damage. In this situation, it's best to call for roadside assistance or have the vehicle towed to a trusted ASE certified mechanic for further diagnosis and repairs.


Seek Professional Help - If you are unsure about the cause of the overheating or if you're unable to resolve the issue yourself, it's essential to seek professional help. Our ASE certified technicians will inspect the cooling system, identify the root cause of the overheating, and perform the necessary repairs to get your vehicle back in working condition.


Regular maintenance and keeping an eye on your vehicle's temperature gauge can help prevent overheating and ensure a safe and reliable driving experience. If your vehicle is overheating, come see us at Glenn’s Auto Service in Downey.


And if you’re looking for any other service and repairs for your car, truck, or SUV in Downey, then please call us at 562-359-4232 to schedule your next service. You can also schedule an appointment with us online by clicking here. We are your trusted Downey, CA auto repair shop for all services and repairs on all makes and models, including:


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