Summer's almost here, which means it's almost time to take some road trips. Unfortunately, summer road trips mean driving in high temperatures. Those high temperatures can wreak havoc on your radiator and leave you stranded on the side of the road. Before you head out on vacation, you should know what to do when your temperature gauge starts to climb. Here are four things you should do as soon as your car overheats.
Turn Off the Engine
When you see your temperature gauge hit the red zone, you may be tempted to try and get to the next service station. That's the worst thing you can do for your car. As soon as you know your radiator is overheating, pull off to the side of the road and turn the engine off. Driving your car while it's overheating could cause irreparable damage to your engine.
Open the Hood
Once you're off the road, you're going to want to open the hood of your car. Opening the hood will get air circulating around the radiator and help it cool down faster. Don't take the cap off the radiator at this time, though. You need to wait until the car has cooled down before you remove the radiator cap. Otherwise, you risk getting sprayed with hot radiator fluid.
Refill the Coolant
After you've given your car enough time to cool down you'll need to refill the radiator with coolant. If you have a coolant tank installed on your car, you'll place the coolant there. Not sure what the coolant tank is? It's the plastic container located on the inside of your engine compartment. In most cases, it will say "coolant" on the side. The coolant tank prevents the need for opening the radiator.
Get to a Repair Shop
As soon as your car has had time to cool down and you've refilled the coolant, you'll need to get to a radiator repair shop like Branford Radiator Repair Service as soon as possible. The repair technician will be able to inspect your radiator to determine if you have any mechanical problems that need to be addressed before you head out on the road again.
Road trips are a great way to spend summer vacation. If you're getting ready to head out for vacation, you need to be prepared for mechanical breakdowns. The information provided here will help you know what steps to take if your car overheats while you're on the road.