Have you ever had your car overheat, leaving you stranded with no way to get where you’re going? It’s actually pretty common, especially in the summer months when things are already scorching and your car has to work harder to stay cool. However, it is a pretty big inconvenience, too, and our Charlotte auto service techs are here with tips to help you handle the situation with ease.
What should you do if your car overheats?
Step #1: Turn on the heat.
It sounds super weird, but turning on your heater when your car overheats can actually help the situation. It pulls some of the heat away from the engine and forces it into the cabin. This means you’re going to be sweating, but at least it’ll help your engine start to cool down.
Step #2: Find a safe place to pull over.
Next, find a place to pull over. Even if you’ve turned the heater on, you need to figure out what’s going on under the hood to make your car overheat. Look for a safe space that’s away from traffic, flat (not on a hill), and if it’s dark out, well-lit. This will give you a place to pop the hood and inspect a little bit, as well as call for help if you need it.
Step #3: Let the car cool off a little so you can look under the hood.
However, BEFORE you open the hood you should turn your car off and let it cool off for 15 minutes or so. This will prevent you being blasted with steam or heat when you do pop the hood open.
Step #4: Try adding coolant.
When your N Charlotte Toyota has cooled off a little, try adding some coolant to the coolant tank (if the levels are low). Take the cap off and slowly add it to see if it helps to cool the car down (you can start your car again to watch the temperature gauge). If you notice the levels going down quickly even after you’ve added some but the car isn’t cooling off, you may have a leak that needs to be addressed.
Step #5: Call for a tow or if possible, drive to a gas station.
If the temperature gauge in your N Charlotte Toyota has gone down to normal levels, you can try driving to the nearest gas station to wait for help, but just be sure to watch the gauge the whole time and pull over immediately if it starts to move toward hot again. If it hasn’t gone down even with additional coolant added, you need to call for a tow. Driving an overheated car can result in serious, costly, and even irreparable damage to the engine.
Let our Charlotte auto service center help your car cool down
Need help with a car overheating or auto service to keep it from doing it in the first place? Toyota of N Charlotte is here to assist! Give us a call seven days a week at (704) 659-2025 or stop by in person. We’re located just off I-77 at exit 23 in Huntersville at 13429 Statesville Road.