What to Do When Your Car Overheats in Arizona
Overheating your engine is no fun, and there are a lot of things that can cause your engine to be at risk of overheating in the summer sun.
Why Does my Car Keep Overheating?
- A lack of fluids is one of the biggest things to monitor. Keeping your engine's oil and coolant levels up to par is the easiest way to stop an engine from overheating as they help control the temperature of the engine in the first place. Don't ignore the low oil light, and make sure fluids stay topped off with routine maintenance.
- The radiator fan might not be providing the appropriate air flow to the engine.
- The water pump might not be sending coolant to the engine.
- The engine thermostat could be faulty, resulting in coolant not being sent to the engine.
- Your timing belt could be damaged, which is designed to keep the gears timed appropriately so that your engine runs at its max efficiency.
- The serpentine belt could be damaged or loose. The serpentine belt keeps several parts of your engine running, including the water pump.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help cool your car engine down.
How to Fix an Overheating Car
- Turn off your air conditioning. Running the AC puts a lot of strain on your car's engine, so if you're starting to overheat the engine, turning off the AC can help protect it from dangerously hot under the hood. This is your first defense against overheating your car's engine.
- Also, turn on the hot air and run the interior fan. It may be hot outside and you'll be uncomfortable, but running hot air into the cabin will pull some of the excess heat from the engine, helping to cool it.
- When safe, pull to the side of the road. The sooner you can take the burden of driving off your engine, the better. But if you're stuck in traffic at a light and notice the temperature as an issue, shift your car into neutral and rev the engine a little bit. That will activate the fuel pump and radiator fan to help cool your car while sitting idle.
- Open the hood after you’ve safely pulled over. Be mindful of steam and heat that might escape as you lift the hood. Opening up the hood lets the engine breath while also releasing the heat that's built up.
- Do NOT open the radiator cap until your car's engine is completely cooled down. Doing so could result in severe burns as the liquid could be boiling. After all, your car is overheating. Along those same lines, wait to add water to your radiator until it's cooled down considerably.
Overheated engines is a real possibility when summer temperatures can hit 120 degrees during the day in the Valley of the Sun. Make sure to take care of your car to avoid be stuck on the road, but if you do run into trouble, use these easy steps to cool your engine down. Check out the Valley Chevy blog for more helpful car tips.