What to Do When an Engine Overheat Happens

Automobiles, even with the advancement of technology, are still powered by motors that produce large amounts of heat energy. Heat is always generated whenever you use your car in driving or even turning on your car’s air conditioner. What keeps the vehicle from overheating is its radiator which is responsible for transporting heat from the engine through a thermal heat exchange process. Because a car radiator is the only component in the vehicle that balances the heat, it must always be in good condition.

The radiator must have enough amount of liquid coolant stored on its core. When the fluid amount goes below the sufficient level, the engine of your car will overheat, resulting in your car to stop running or shut down. Whenever your car radiator fails to work properly, you have to know what you to do to remedy the situation.

Things to Do During an Engine Overheat:


What you should do immediately when your car engine overheats is always to pull over to the side of the road. You would not want to be involved in an accident by staying in the middle of the way when your car is already about the shutdown. Furthermore, attempting to use your car with an overheating engine can cause harmful damages to your car’s engine. Thus, you should never drive your car when it overheats because it might lead to permanent damages to your vehicle. It can also be dangerous to you or anyone inside the vehicle. Surrounding engine parts can blow, and head gaskets can blow up, leading the car into flames.

Once you notice signs of overheating, such as smoke coming out from your trunk or front side of the car, you should immediately pull over to a safe area. If there is a parking lot near the area, drive slowly until you reach the place.


After pulling over, you have to turn off your engine immediately. Do not forget to turn on your hazards to let people know of your situation, especially if you pulled over in a dark area. Many people make the mistake of opening the hood of the car right away, but this is a big mistake. The car radiator and engine are still very hot, and touching them can cause third-degree burns. What you should do is to allow the engine to cool off for several minutes. Letting it cool off for at least fifteen minutes is the ideal waiting time. If you feel the need to wait a little longer, do so before opening the hood. This way, you could be assured that you will be free from any injury.


As the engine has fully cooled down, check your vehicle for any signs of leaking. Fluid leaks could mean that there is a cracked radiator or a faulty radiator hose. If you cannot find any sign of leaking, investigate the oil. Take away the dipstick and check on the color. If the color is brown and muddy, it could mean that liquid coolant of the radiator is seeping into the engine.