What Should You Do if Your Car Over Heats?

What Should You Do if Your Car Over Heats?

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  1. Automobile engines get hot due to the friction they produce. Engines have a cooling system to prevent the hundreds of moving parts from over heating. As you are driving down the road, you may notice a gauge that is reading in the “Hot” zone, or you may see a warning light on your dashboard that indicates your automobile is too hot. If the automobile engine is to hot, you will need to find a safe place to pull over, and turn off the engine immediately. When the automobile is over heated it is under extreme pressure. If you attempt to remove the radiator cap, you are certain to take a bath in antifreeze that is over 150 degrees. This will cause severe burns that will need medical attention. For your safety, never remove a radiator cap that is under pressure. Allow adequate time to pass to allow the engine to cool off, before you attempt to troubleshoot the problem.

    Radiator & Radiator Hoses

    Radiator hoses deteriorate with age and a hole or crack can occur. If the leak is close to the hose clamp, you can use a knife to cut the hose and reattach it. If the leak is in the center of the hose, a replacement hose will most likely be needed. As we are driving down the road rocks and other debris can become flying projectiles. Most radiator damages can be caused by flying debris. If your radiator has a crack or a hole in it, you should not attempt to drive the automobile. If you have no choice, and you must drive the automobile home, you could take the radiator cap and a fix it so that pressure will not build up. (Note: this method is not recommended. If the automobile gets too hot, the engine could seize up or cause other damage.) When the radiator cap is loose the pressure is removed. You will need to pull over occasionally and fill the radiator with water to prevent it from over heating. 


    The thermostat helps the engine maintain a certain operating temperature. They are spring loaded, and the springs can break or not function correctly. To check the thermostat, you can use 3 methods. 1) Remove the radiator cap then look inside to see if the antifreeze is circulating. 2) While wearing gloves grab the top hose and feel for vibration. If the thermostat is stuck closed, the hose should not vibrate. 3) Remove the thermostat and manually inspect it. If the thermostat will not open, then a replacement is in order.

    Water Pump

    The water pump should be attached to the belt drive system on your automobile engine. The most common problem that occurs with the water pump is due to using tap water instead of antifreeze. Lime scale and water deposits can cause blockage and poor circulation. When the the crusty lime scale attempts to pass through the water pump the pump gets blocked or the blades inside the pump get damaged. You can try to flush the system with coolant flush, but the results will vary depending on the state of the automobile engine. The bearings attached to the pulley wear out over time and can start to make noise. If this happens, you will need to replace the water pump.

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