Mon-Fri 8am-6pm
(inspections & Emissions until 5pm)
Sat 8am-5pm
(Inspections & Emissions until 3pm)

Call Us Now!

(703) 580-0333
ASK US ABOUT OUR 2 YEAR WARRANTY including PARTS & LABOR! (valid here and nationwide!)

A Guide on What to Do When Your Car Overheats

Imagine you’re driving down the highway, enjoying your favorite playlist and suddenly, you see smoke coming from under the hood. You pull over to the side of the road and realize that your car has overheated. This is a common problem that many drivers face, especially during hot summer days or long drives. But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. In this guide, we’ll discuss what to do when your car overheats and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Understanding Why Your Car Overheats

Your car is designed to operate at a specific temperature range. When the engine temperature goes beyond that range, your car overheats. This can happen due to various reasons, such as a malfunctioning cooling system, low coolant levels, or a faulty thermostat. It’s important to understand the cause of the overheating so you can take appropriate action.

What to Do When Your Car Overheats

The first thing you should do when your car overheats is to pull over safely and turn off the engine. This will prevent any further damage to the engine. It’s important not to open the hood immediately as it can be dangerous due to the high temperature of the engine. Wait for at least 15 minutes for the engine to cool down before opening the hood.

Check Coolant Levels

Once you have opened the hood, check your coolant levels. If they are low, it could be the reason for the overheating. In this case, you can try adding more coolant to see if it helps. However, keep in mind that adding coolant alone may not solve the problem and a professional inspection might be needed.

Inspect the Radiator

The radiator is responsible for removing excess heat from your car’s engine. If there are any blockages or leaks in the radiator, it can cause your car to overheat. Inspect the radiator for any visible damage or debris and clean it if necessary. If there are no visible issues, then it’s best to have a mechanic take a look.

Check the Cooling Fan

The cooling fan helps in regulating the temperature of your engine by pulling air through the radiator. If the fan is not working properly, it can cause your car to overheat. To test this, turn on your car’s air conditioning and see if the cooling fan turns on. If it doesn’t, there might be an issue with the fan or its electrical components.

Look for Leaks

A leak in any part of your car’s cooling system can cause a drop in coolant levels, leading to overheating. Look for any visible leaks or puddles of liquid under your car. If you find a leak, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible.

Preventing Your Car from Overheating

While there are various reasons why your car may overheat, there are some preventive measures you can take to reduce the risk.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your car’s cooling system is crucial in preventing overheating. Make sure to get it checked and serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This includes changing the coolant, inspecting hoses and belts, and flushing the radiator.

Keep an Eye on the Temperature Gauge

The temperature gauge on your dashboard indicates the engine’s temperature. Make sure to keep an eye on it while driving, especially during long trips or in extreme weather conditions. If you notice the gauge going above the normal range, pull over and follow the steps mentioned above.

Be Mindful of Driving Conditions

Driving in heavy traffic or up steep inclines can put extra strain on your car’s engine, causing it to overheat. In these situations, it’s important to take breaks and let your car cool down before continuing the drive.


Overheating can be a stressful and potentially dangerous situation for any driver. But with proper knowledge and precautions, you can handle it calmly and effectively. Remember to always prioritize safety when dealing with overheating and seek professional help if needed. And don’t forget to schedule regular maintenance for your car’s cooling system at Michigan Auto & Tire to prevent any future overheating incidents. Stay safe and happy driving! 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *