How to Cool an Overheated Engine

overheating is a symptom of another problem–usually low coolant level caused by a leak, a thermostat that’s stuck closed, an inoperative cooling fan or a clogged radiator. The most important thing is to turn off the before the overheating does any damage.


1.Put on your turn signals and/or flashers to indicate you are pulling off the road.
2.Turn both the heater setting and the heater blower to high to divert heat from the engine. This may help, but only if the problem is a broken fan or fan belt (it’s always worth a try).
3.Pull over and find a safe place to park on the side of the road.
4.Turn off the engine.
5.Open the hood.
6.Check the coolant level by looking at the coolant reservoir, a plastic tank. (Do not open the radiator cap when the engine is hot. The radiator is under pressure, and hot coolant could seriously burn you.) On some German cars the plastic coolant tank is pressurized–wait for the engine to before opening the tank to add coolant. This may take up to 20 minutes.
7.Use a funnel to add coolant to the reservoir if the level is below the low line. Always wait for the engine to cool down before opening the radiator cap. When everything is full, visit your mechanic right away to find and repair the leak.
8.If a low coolant level is not the problem, you have a more complicated cooling system problem and should call a tow truck.
9.If this is the case, wait for the engine to cool down, then drive to a phone or a garage. Check the temperature gauge as you drive to make sure it isn’t going into the red. If the gauge starts to rise again, pull over, turn off the engine, and wait for it to cool again.

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