Help! My Car is Overheating!

Car Overheating is a Serious Problem

Most modern cars are equipped with warning lights that will alert you if you engine starts to overheat. However, if you see these warnings lights or the temperature gauge moving towards hot, immediate action is required. Driving with an overheated engine can cause serious and expensive damage to your car. It is much better to pull over and deal with the cause of the overheating, rather than risk more damage.


As the weather starts to get warmer – make sure you know how to cool your engine down.


3 Reasons Your Car Is Overheating


1. Coolant Leak

If there is a leak in your coolant system the level of coolant (water and antifreeze mixture) will be running low. If there is not enough liquid then you will begin to experience overheating.


2. Improperly Circulating Coolant

If you coolant isn’t circulating through your engine correctly it will begin to overheat. Even if you don’t have a leak over time coolant can evaporate or get clogged with particles causing it to circulate incorrectly.


Coolant Hoses Need Replacing

The hoses that circulate your coolant can become eroded, clogged, or detached over time. If this happens they may need to be reattached, cleaned out, or replaced entirely for coolant to flow normally through the system.


Other Engine Issues

It is always best to being your car to a certified mechanic as soon as possible when you begin to experience issues with overheating, as this can be an indicator of more serious engine issues. At AAMCO Utah we offer a free multi-point inspection to diagnose your cars problem correctly the first time.


What to Do If Your Engine Overheats

Regular maintenance with a certified mechanic who is checking your cars oil, coolant levels, fans, hoses and other parts of your car’s cooling system can help you to avoid your engine overheating. However, if your car does overheat the steps you take while this is happening can be the difference between a simple repair, or a complicated and costly one.


  • Always carry extra coolant with you. Typically overheating happens when coolant is running low and topping off your coolant might solve the problem. If you don’t have coolant, you can also use a little water for a temporary fix.
  • If you are starting to overheat immediately turn off your A.C. as this puts extra strain on your engine.
  • If overheating continues, turn your heat on high to draw away from your engine.
  • When possible, pull over and turn off your engine. If you can pop your hood from inside of your car do so – but if you have to open it by hand from the outside be sure to wait until it has cooled off, about 30 minutes.



If You Do Have a Coolant Leak

If you determine you have a coolant leak be careful when opening your radiator cap. Cover the cap with a cloth or towel and slowly open the cap to release any pressure that may have built up – make sure the engine has cooled down as hot coolant can spray out under pressure.

Once your radiator has cooled you can refill it with some spare cool water. But make sure that you are not pouring cold water into a hot engine or you can risk cracking the engine block. You won’t be able to drive far on water alone, but if will help you get to your nearest certified mechanic when you don’t have coolant on hand.

man in a white shirt leaning over the open hood of a steaming car


AAMCO Utah Keeps You Riding Cool

When you can get your car back up and driving again, keep an eye on your temperature gauge and warning lights. It’s best to bring your car in to your nearest AAMCO Utah service center so we can diagnose what is wrong with your car.

AAMCO Utah is always ready to help. It’s easy to find the location nearest you – we have 10 throughout Utah! Give us a call or schedule online today.


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