Staying Cool this Summer

Tips on Keeping Your Car From Overheating

It’s summertime and with summer in New Mexico, you know how hot it can really get. However, the summer heat we feel is only a portion of the heat your vehicle’s engine experiences. An overheating engine can lead to serious problems and even cause a dreaded breakdown. These simple tips can keep your engine from overheating and leading to expensive repair bills.

Tips if Your Car Overheats

If your car overheats, it’ll never be at a convenient time. Just keep cool and remember these tips to help you at that critical moment.

  1. Turn Off the AC: Your air conditioner puts a strain on your vehicle’ engine, thus causing your engine to heat up.
  2. Turn on the Heater: This might sound painful in the middle of the summer, but turning your heater on vents heat from your engine into your car. Be sure to roll down and turn your vents towards your windows.
  3. Keep an Eye on the Temperature: If your temperature gauge keeps rising and hits the red zone, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so. When you do, open your hood and let your engine cool for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Check the Coolant: Most cars have a plastic coolant reservoir attached to the top of the radiator. If it’s low, your vehicle may need coolant. And remember, DO NOT open your radiator cap before your engine has cooled off. Because of heat and pressure, doing so can release very hot steam and fluid that can cause severe burns.

These simple tips can help you make it to a service station or home in a pinch. There are also several tips to follow to prevent overheating.

Tips to Prevent Overheating

The best ways to prevent overheating include:

  1. Regular Maintenance: This is the simplest trick of them all. Be sure you get an oil change and regular maintenance every 3,000 miles or before long road trips. This is the best way to check for leaks or other damage that can cause, or are caused by, overheating.
  2. Don’t Over Use the Air Conditioner: While it feels great on a hot summer day, running your AC on high for 30 minutes is putting a tremendous strain on your car. Blast the AC to cool your car down when you get it, but once you’re comfortable, drop it down to low.
  3. Don’t Strain Your Engine: You don’t always have to slam on the gas to accelerate from an intersection. Accelerating slowly then driving at a steady pace will minimize the strain to your engine—and save on gas, too!
  4. Avoid Stop-and-Go: If possible, try avoiding stop-and-go driving. If you’re caught during rush hour, or have no choice, drive at a slower speed if possible. This will minimize the strain on your engine during this type of driving.

There are many ways to keep your engine from overheating during the hot summer months, many of which just require a little care for your car.

In much of the same way that the sun can really put a strain on you if you’re in it too long, the extra heat of the summer can really strain your car. Be sure you keep up with your preventative maintenance. This will keep your car’s engine cool—and help you from becoming hot under the collar with an overheated vehicle.