The summer heat is already breaking records in the Valley of the Sun with temperatures topping out around 115 degrees this past week. Higher temperatures can increase the risk for engine overheating. So, now is a better time than any to think about what steps you can take if your car engine overheats. Breaking down in this scorching hot weather can be detrimental to your health and the health of others with you if you don’t act quickly. Follow these steps if an experienced mechanic or a tow truck is not nearby:
- Pull over to a safe location and turn off the engine.
- Don’t open the hood until the vehicle has completely cooled or the temperature gauge has moved from hot to cool.
- Check the coolant (also called antifreeze) level in the radiator. Look in the owner’s manual if you’re unsure where the coolant reservoir tank is located.
- Make sure the radiator cap is cool before opening it. Slowly twist it off with a towel and beware of any hot steam. If needed, fill coolant to the top of the radiator. Put the radiator cap back on.
- Be sure the upper or lower radiator hose and any of the heater hoses have not been blocked, disconnected or burst.
- Restart the engine.
- Carefully monitor the temperature gauge. If you see it crossing the optimal mark, pull over to a safe location and turn the engine off.
- While your best bet is to get help from a mechanic, your safest bet is to be prepared. Store these essential items in your car or truck: coolant, tool kit with a working flashlight, non-perishable foods and water.
These safety tips are important when preparing to drive during Arizona’s summer months. Watch this informative video for additional information on the topic of engine overheating precaution…