What Do You Do If Your Car Overheats While You’re Out On The Road?

Although fall is on the way, summer is still here in all of its hot, sweaty glory. This means your car is working overtime every time you take it on the road to keep cool and because of that, it’s your responsibility to stick to routine car care. However, things happen that are out of your control and we’re here to talk about one of them – what to do if your car overheats. 

Your car overheating is super inconvenient and unpleasant to deal with, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Check out these five steps from our Charlotte Toyota service techs on how to handle the situation if your car overheats. 

Toyota of N Charlotte tips

The five steps to take if your car overheats 

Step #1: Turn the heater on inside the cabin. 

Sounds weird, right? Especially in the summer. But turning on the heater inside the cabin can pull some of the heat away from the engine and help the engine to cool down slightly. You’ll be a sweaty mess in the driver’s seat, but you’ll be doing your car engine a solid. 

Step #2: Pull over. 

You need to get off of the road so you can turn your car off for a period of time and let it cool down. Look for a safe place to park that’s flat (not on a hill), a good distance away from passing cars, and if it’s dark out, well-lit. Park your N Charlotte Toyota and turn the engine off to let things cool down a little before you try to open the hood. 

Step #3: Open the hood. 

After 15 minutes or so of the engine turned off, go ahead and pop the hood of your N Charlotte Toyota to see what’s going on. NEVER take off the radiator cap – you can get blasted with steaming hot water.

Step #4: Try adding coolant. 

Instead, check the coolant tank to see how much fluid is in there. If it’s empty, you can add more to get your car back to a cooler temp. However, if you turn the car back on and it’s still running hot even after you’ve added coolant, you could have a leak or some other issue that’s preventing it from cooling down.

Step #5: Get professional help. 

Even if your car has cooled down enough to drive it home, you still need to bring it into our Charlotte auto service center to have it checked out and to see what caused it to overheat in the first place. If it simply won’t cool down even with time off the road and added coolant, call for a tow. Don’t try to drive it; you can do costly and even irreparable damage to your car engine. 

Car emergency tips

Schedule car care at Toyota of N Charlotte 

Need help with an overheating car (or want to schedule routine auto service to avoid it overheating to begin with)? Call Toyota of N Charlotte. Our car care center is open seven days a week at (704) 659-2025. You can visit us at 13429 Statesville Road, just off I-77 at exit 23!