No matter how old your vehicle is, it is certain to have a system that helps keep your engine cool while it’s running. These systems have become more complex over the years, often comprising many different parts that work together to regulate your engine temperature. But no matter how well you maintain your vehicle, normal wear can eventually lead to a problem with one of these parts. When this happens, your vehicle can overheat – even in cold temperatures. That’s why it is important to know what to do if you ever find yourself in this situation. Read on to learn more about your cooling system, as well as what you should do if you ever have a problem.
Signs Your Engine is Overheating
If you’ve never had to deal with an overheating vehicle before, you probably aren’t sure what the signs of this issue are. By being able to recognize that your vehicle is overheating, you can take the necessary steps to allow your engine to cool before it causes any additional damage. If you notice any of these signs, your engine is likely overheating:
- Steam coming from under the car hood. While it may look like smoke, steam is white in color.
- The engine temperature gauge on your dashboard spiking to “H” or into the red. If you’re unsure of how to read your temperature gauge, check your manual for more information.
- A strange smell coming from the engine area. When coolant hits your hot engine, it gives off a sweet small, which many people compare to syrup.
What to Do If Your Engine Overheats
Now that you know how to watch out for an overheating issue, you need to know what to do.
- Turn up the heat.
If you’re running your A/C, turn it off to reduce strain on the engine. Then, turn the dial to maximum heat. This helps to pull heat away from the engine to keep it from overheating until you can pull over in a safe location. You may get a little hot yourself, but this is the best move to help prevent additional damage to your engine.
- Find a safe place to pull over.
Next you need to pull over and shut off your vehicle to allow the engine to cool for at least 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge, as it should move back to a normal range as the engine cools.
- Check the coolant level.
Once your engine has cooled off a bit, open the hood and check your coolant level. If it is low, filling it back to the proper level could help protect your engine and prevent overheating until you can get things fixed. However, this step won’t do much good if a coolant hose is clogged, or if there is an issue with your radiator fan or water pump.
- Restart the engine.
If your vehicle cools down and your destination is nearby, you can carefully drive your vehicle. Start your engine and drive slowly, keeping an eye on your temperature gauge. If it rises again, pull over and let the system cool.
If you’re experiencing overheating issues with your vehicle, you can rely on your neighborhood Chicagoland Jiffy Lube® Multicare location to help you get your engine running right again!
Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.
Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.