The First Steps to Overcome an Overheated Car Engine, Do These 6 Things

 Have you ever seen a car stop and smoke from the hood? The technical language is that the engine is overheating. Simply put, the car engine is overheating, the engine temperature is too high, far above the optimal engine temperature. Yep, this is one of the most common engine problems. Usually experienced by old year cars, although it does not rule out the possibility of new cars as well.

The First Steps to Overcome an Overheated Car Engine, Do These 6 Things

The main problem lies in the cooling system. Radiators, radiator caps, radiator fans, fan belts, water pumps, thermostats, hoses and the fluids in them are sometimes neglected. If one does not work optimally, overheating is prone to occur. The result can be fatal. In addition to the car definitely breaking down, most likely have to get off the engine. Therefore, it is necessary to be familiar with this problem. Starting from the symptoms, causes and how to deal with them.

No need to panic and be afraid if this happens to your car. For the first step to overcome the overheating car engine, you can do the following 6 initial steps:

1. Stop at the side of the road and turn off the car engine

When the car engine overheats, stop immediately and take it to the side of the road or a safe location. The next step is to turn off the engine. This is done so that your car does not suffer more serious damage. After that, keep an eye on the temperature needle. 

2. Open the hood so the heat dissipates immediately


Do not allow heat to be trapped in the engine compartment. Locate the small hood release lever, then lift it. Be careful because sometimes the lever is near the radiator so there is a risk of you being scalded by the radiator heat.

3. Do not open the radiator cap if the engine is still hot


Never do this. If you open the radiator cap while the engine is still hot, it may cause steam and high pressure water to escape, which can result in serious burns if it comes in contact with the skin.

4. Check the radiator water reserve tube


Every car must have a radiator water reserve that is connected to the top of the radiator. This will help you to see if the radiator water is low or not. In addition, there is also a water level indicator. If the water is less then it can be dangerous for the engine. The first step that can be done is to add coolant to the top line position. You can fill the water in the tube even though the engine is hot or you can also wait for the engine to cool down. If your car only has a radiator without a spare tube, you should wait for it to cool before opening it.

car coolant

5. Look for leaks in the cooling system


If the radiator or cylinder head is damaged, there may be a leak in the cooling system. If you are experienced enough with cars, check the radiator, engine block, or cylinder head near the gaskets for leaks. On the other hand, if you don't understand, you can take your car to the nearest repair shop and ask them to do a pressure test for the cooling system. This check is easy and may be done free of charge.

6. Decide whether to keep going or call for emergency help


If the radiator is just low on fluid and you can fill it up, this is fine. Fill it up and move on. If the water in the radiator looks out of place, don't start the car. If it can run again, it's better to turn off the air conditioner to reduce engine work. Turn on the heater to reduce engine heat. Run the car stably. If help is easy to get, you can ask for a tow truck instead of having to drive it.

What Are the Symptoms of Overheating?


Engine temperature is monitored through indicators on the instrument panel. Usually in the form of analog instructions with the letters C (Cold) and H (Hot). But the majority of new cars now, no longer use that model. The indicator is just a green and red light. Of course various signs must be monitored while driving to find out if there is a problem. For analog models, the engine is hot when the pointer has exceeded the center limit. For lamp models, the letter H glows red. When all that is seen, immediately pull over the car and turn off the engine.

When the indicator shows the engine is hot, there have been no suspicious signs while it is running. But if it continues to be forced, some symptoms can arise. Machines that used to work fine, getting rougher and less powerful. There are even those who knock (knocking) excessively and the engine power drops drastically. Air conditioning (AC) suddenly not cold. Some vehicles apply a safety system to disconnect a number of components that burden the engine.

The more forced, the engine can die and immediately crash. The temperature around the engine is certainly very hot and smoke comes out. Do not immediately open the radiator cap and add water until the temperature drops. The result can be fatal to you. Machines can be seriously damaged. Bent cylinder heads and cracked cylinder blocks are the most common. Dismounting a machine that costs a lot of money is a must.

What Causes Overheating?

There are many things that can cause an engine to overheat. Damage to the components mentioned above is a very big trigger. Most commonly, the radiator water runs out. This fluid rotates in circulation. The hot temperature of course makes it evaporate and needs to be checked periodically. If not enough, add water through the reservoir tank or directly to the radiator. Make sure to use coolant according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

If it runs out more often, check for leaks. It could be from the radiator itself, which is worn out by age, or the pipe that becomes the water flow path. If the clamp is loose or the hose is brittle, replace it immediately. The thermostat also plays an important role. Its function is to open the water circulation when the engine has reached the optimal temperature. If it is damaged and does not work, of course the water cannot rotate.

Likewise with the cooling fan which is located right behind the radiator. Duty to cool by making air flow on the sidelines of the radiator. The damage can be in the form of a dead motor or a broken fan. The fan belt also plays an important role because it connects the compressor, air conditioner, alternator and water pump to the engine speed. If it breaks, the water pump does not work and stops the water circulation process.

Well, before you travel, it's better to check all the components in question. Make sure the radiator water is not quickly reduced and circulates smoothly. Also check the radiator fan whether it is still functioning normally or not. If your car is old with high flying hours, it doesn't hurt to replace the various components first. Prevention is certainly better than cure.

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