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How To Protect Your Vehicle From Overheating

At some point, we’ve all seen that car pulled over to the side of the road dealing with an overheated engine. That’s no way to spend the afternoon! We are in the throes of summer, and while it’s hot, there is plenty we can do to minimize the likelihood of being one of those unfortunate folks adding to that statistic.


The easiest way is to keep up with scheduled maintenance. That way your fluids are regularly checked to make sure that you have enough, and they are clean enough to do their job efficiently.


A properly functioning battery. If your car’s battery is over three years old, it might be time for a new one. An older, less efficient battery can cause your vehicle to work hard, putting more stress and strain on the engine.


The radiator cap is often the most overlooked culprit. It could be the cause of your engine overheating. Over time, the spring keeping it tightly in place can loosen. Without a tight seal, the pressure is no longer regulated and can mess with your radiator system. It’s also an easy thing to overlook when you’ve recently added coolant.


Watch your gauges. In these steaming hot months, especially if you’re heading up a steep grade, keep your eye on the dashboard gauge. If you see your engine starting to run hot, try turning off the A/C and running the heater full blast. While that seems counterintuitive, it actually can help cool your engine. At the very least, if your car starts to heat up, turn the A/C off!


The serpentine belt could be going bad. Like all the other belts in your car, this one doesn’t last forever and is susceptible to wear and tear. While it has a life expectancy of 60-100K miles, don’t ever take that for granted and have it inspected from time to time.


Other potential contributing factors:

  • A bad water pump

  • A broken or malfunctioning thermostat

  • Low oil

  • The radiator fan is not functioning properly


Safety tips: NEVER use water instead of coolant. NEVER replace or fill coolant when the engine is hot. NEVER take the radiator cap off when the engine is hot. ALWAYS keep extra coolant in the car.


The team at Foreign Car Specialists in Poughkeepsie want to make sure that you stay safe on all of our roadways. We don’t want to see you stranded on the side of the road. We know you have better things to do any day of the week! Let us help keep you on the road this summer and beyond! Schedule an appointment today.


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