Tips And Tricks

Don't get all hot under the hood

There are lots of things that can cause an engine to run hot: radiator problems…clogged fuel filters…water pump problems. You may not be able to prevent all these things, but you can be prepared when you notice the temperature gauge rising or when the warning light comes on.

If you’re stuck in traffic when this happens, turn off the air conditioning right away. Next, turn on the heater. This may be miserable for you, but it may buy you some time to get to a spot to pull over and see if engine repair is needed. Pull over as soon as you can. If you’re on the highway, take the same steps, but pull over immediately.

Once you’re off the road, turn off the car. Chances are, if you were driving at high speeds, you have a cooling system problem. A hose may have burst, or the radiator may be clogged. Open the hood, but stand back and let the engine cool for a full half hour before touching anything. Prevent yourself from personal injuries and never open the radiator cap when it's hot! Once it has cooled off, you can check around the radiator for signs of the problem. If there’s nothing obvious (e.g., a broken drive belt), add a mixture of coolant and water to the radiator. Close the hood and start the vehicle. Drive slowly to the nearest place where you can obtain service. If you have any doubts or questions, remember that it much safer to tow the vehicle to an auto repair shop.

Allowing us, at NCIS in Vista, CA, to perform regularly scheduled maintenance checks on your car can help prevent some problems that can lead to overheating. Bring your car to us for the care that will keep your cooling system working properly so you can avoid overheating. Knowing what to do when your car does overheat can help keep you from getting hot under the collar as well.