What to do if Your Car Overheats

When the weather is hot, cars are more susceptible to overheating. Of course, this is less common in newer cars, but it is always best to be prepared for the worst. If your car overheats, there are a few things you can do to try and relieve your engine of excess heat. 

Shut off the air conditioner

Shutting off your air conditioner will decrease the load on the engine greatly. Running the air conditioning system in your car is hard on your engine in hot weather. When you turn off the air conditioning, you are giving your engine a rest which will help cool it off.

Turn on the heater

Although blasting the heat in your car is probably the last thing you want to do on a hot, summer day, it will help your engine out greatly. The heater in your car will pull heat from the engine into the interior of your car, relieving your engine of the excess heat.

Try not to overuse your brakes

If you are in stop-and-go traffic and your car starts to overheat, try not to use your brakes more than necessary. Instead of pressing the gas, followed by the brakes, followed by the gas again, try idling slowly through traffic.

Pull over

You are never supposed to drive more than half a mile with an overheating engine. If you are further than half a mile from help, pull over and open the hood of your car. This will allow airflow to get into the engine and cool it off. If you must, call a tow truck to pick you and your car up. It is better to get help for a smaller problem than to continue driving and create worse problems for yourself.

If your engine overheats, bring it in to the nearest Jiffy Lube for a check-up. To find the Jiffy Lube nearest to you, click here.

Image courtesy of Steve & Jem Copely/Flickr