Normally, the coolant of your car keeps the temperature inside your car moderate by staying cool at all time, but when it starts to exceed its operating temperature threshold, it can badly damage your car. This often happens when your car is left in direct sunlight for a long period of time and the internal pump doesn’t pump fast enough for the coolant to circulate inside the system. Also, sometimes the radiator of your car could overheat when there’s a leak in the coolant tank.
Now that we point out the problems, there are a couple of things you can do to deal with an overheating radiator.
1. Turn the A/C off
This is only common sense. When the AC system cools you down, it heats the engine up at the same time. In addition, the AC evaporator is placed near the car’s radiator (if you don’t know yet, “radiator” is a part that helps keep your engine cool). If there’s too much heat, the evaporator wouldn’t work efficiently.
Paradoxically, you have to turn AC off to avoid overheating
2. Turn on the heater
This sounds a little bit counterproductive since you are trying to “cool down”. Actually, the heater will transfer the heat to the air around you, thus keep the heat off your engine. This might be uncomfortable so you might want to step out of the car afterward. First, set the heater at maximum setting with air blower, then roll down the windows and step out of the car. Forget about your convenience by thinking about the thought of buying a brand-new, not-so-reasonably priced engine.
If your engine shows signs of overheat when you are on the road, please pull over and stop, you don’t want your engine to break down in the middle of the street. Just open the hood and let the engine naturally cool off. You could use the time to get yourself a bottle of iced soda while waiting. Remember to be patient because this is going to take a lot of time.
Open the hood and let the engine cool down naturally
3. Check the coolant tank and radiator
Open the coolant tank to check. A low level of coolant could be a reason why your engine is overheated. You can check it the coolant tank is still under pressure by squeezing it. It shouldn’t open easily when pressured, so wait for it to cool down before examining it again. Make sure that you put a thick and large piece of cloth on the radiator hose to avoid a serious burn. If you can’t tell if it’s cool or not, wait until the heat goes off completely.
If the coolant level is low, slowly add water of coolant to fill up the tank AFTER you have started the engine, because adding water or coolant into a hot tank could damage it. The running engine would circulate the coolant around and hence your engine wouldn’t run the risk of internal cracking.