With winter in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start getting your vehicle ready for the heat of summer. When the temps begin to rise, one of the most common auto issues is an overheated engine. Many factors can cause this, and failure to address it can significantly damage your motor.
Below, we’ve got everything you need to know about preventing your vehicle from overheating and advice on when to visit the professionals. With these tips, you’ll be ready to ride in comfort all summer long!
Check and Maintain Fluid Levels
The simplest way to prevent your vehicle from overheating is to monitor your coolant levels proactively. Getting in the habit of doing so will help you avoid serious problems down the road.
Many vehicles have a coolant reservoir, but you can also check the radiator. If you’ve been driving, allow your engine time to cool before checking the radiator, as removing the cap too soon can be dangerous.
If your vehicle has been overheating and your coolant level is low, this is the most likely culprit. Add additional antifreeze or water during the summer months to help keep your engine operating at the right temperature. Levels will drop naturally as you drive, but leaks will often accelerate the process and cause your motor to overheat.
Check under your vehicle regularly for signs of leaks, and see a mechanic right away if one is suspected. Adding coolant will get you by, but long-term damage can occur if leaks are left unfixed.
Monitor Temperature and Take Breaks
Keeping a close eye on temperature gauges while you travel is also essential. It’s easy for drivers to focus on the gas gauge, but reacting quickly to temperature shifts can save you time and money.
Stay alert to increasing temps on your gauges, and pull over if your vehicle begins to overheat. Parking in the shade can help temps drop quickly, and opening your hood is another safe way to help heat escape.
Be careful using water to cool your radiator’s outside, as your engine block can crack if cooled too quickly. Allowing your engine sufficient time to cool before driving again can help prevent long-term damage to your motor.
Get Some Fresh Air
Skipping the air conditioner and riding with your windows down is also a proven way to reduce overheating. Running your vehicle’s A/C on blast puts a lot of stress on the engine, and turning it off can keep you on the road longer with fewer cooling breaks.
This trick is useful when pulling over is impossible or inconvenient, but it shouldn’t be substituted for letting an overheated engine cool.
Keep Things Cool Inside
As mentioned above, your engine works much harder with the A/C running. To try and limit air conditioner use in your car or truck, there are steps you can take to keep things more comfortable inside when you’re not driving.
- One of the best ways to moderate your interior temperature is by parking in the shade. Search for shady parking spots over full sun, and you’ll prevent needing to blast the A/C right when you get in.
- Another way to lower the inside temperature is with window tint or sunshades. These products will help simulate parking in the shade and will make your vehicle much more comfortable upon entry.
- Leaving windows cracked can also help reduce the heat inside your ride.
With regular maintenance and strategic action, you can keep your engine cool and stay on the road longer this summer without worrying about overheating!