What To Do If Your Engine Overheats

Although newer vehicles are much less likely to overheat, given the wrong set of circumstances, they still could. A lack of coolant, broken cooling fan, fan belt or even a split radiator hose can all cause your temperature gauge to skyrocket.

If your interior heater starts to blow out cool air, you see your temperature gauge rising, your warning light comes on, or you see steam rising from underneath your bonnet the chances are that your engine is getting very, very warm and you need to act quickly to minimise any lasting damage.

In this situation we would always recommend calling your breakdown service to have your car recovered.

While you wait for your breakdown service to arrive, there are a few things you can do to help your engine cool down.

  • Turn off the air con (This will decrease the load on your engine)
  • Open all of your windows
  • Turn the heater to its highest temperature and put the fans on full blast – this will help transfer the heat from the engine to the passenger compartment
  • Open your bonnet to let out all of the heat that’s trapped underneath – take great care not to touch anything and do not try to open up the radiator cap, if you do you’ll release a high-pressure mixture of steam and radiator fluid, which will cause serious burns and damage to your car.
  • What you can do, and only if you feel confident enough, is find the coolant reservoir and check to see if the coolant level is low. If it is low you can add coolant, if you don’t have any coolant then water will do. If your vehicle is completely out of coolant then it shouldn’t be driven, you could cause a lot of expensive damage if you do.