We live in a day and age where the cars we drive have state-of-the-art cooling systems that allow for engines to maintain a safe temperature, so the car can perform at its highest level in any situation. However, there are instances when your vehicle may overheat. If you would like to learn how to prevent overheating or how to fix an overheating problem, please read on…

There are several reasons why an engine would overheat. Usually, this happens when there is a problem with the vehicle’s cooling system that does not allow heat to leave the engine compartment. More often than not, this is due to a leak or blockage somewhere within the cooling system or other components of the car.

Over time, parts of your car are going to suffer wear and tear. Rubber hoses, gaskets, and water pumps can leak. When this happens, your car’s cooling system may be affected. Also, if you have a consistent long commute for work every morning, eventually, the stop=and-go traffic has the potential put very serious strain on your car’s cooling system. This is why it is so important to have regular maintenance check-ups conducted by an experienced professional who knows what to look for.

When you are driving, it is extremely important to pay attention to any alerts your car may be giving you. If you see lights flashing or any indicators being illuminated, get to a repair shop as soon as possible. Putting this off could spell disaster for your wallet.

So, what should you look for to know if your car is overheating? Again, if any of these problems are occurring, seek professional maintenance assistance immediately:

If you any steam coming from underneath the hood of your car.

The temperature gauge for your engine is reaching “H” or is moving into the red area of the gauge.

If you smell any strong odors coming from the front of the car, get to a maintenance shop as soon as you can.

To combat the effects of overheating, it is a good idea to have some essential items on hand:

  • Tool kit
  • A few quarts of oil
  • At least 1 gallon of coolant
  • Towel
  • Gloves

If your car is overheating, take these next steps:

Turning off the heater will potentially lower the temperature of your engine. If you see the warning light turning off or if the temperature gauge goes back to neutral, you should be okay.

Pull over. If you are driving along and your car starts to overheat, it is best to pull over to the side of the road and turn off the engine to give it time to cool. If you have the towing option on your Erie Insurance auto policy, you can contact their roadside assistance to come help you. Their number is 1-800-367-3743. You will want to select OPTION 2.

Be patient. If you do not have roadside assistance, it is best to stay calm and wait at least 15 minutes for the engine to cool. It is possible that the engine coolant has reached a scorching temperature, so please do not attempt to open the hood at this time.

Add coolant. Before you add coolant, please make sure you are wearing some heavy-duty gloves. You will want to unscrew the reservoir cap and, using a funnel, gently pour the coolant into the hole of the funnel. Using a funnel allows you to control how much coolant you are adding and prevents a mess.

Drive your car to a service station. Coolant does not directly address the problem you may be having with your car if it is overheating, but it may buy you enough time to get to a service station to have it looked at. A professional will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong with your car and what needs to be done to fix the problem.