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Understanding the Risks of Car Overheating in Summer

Summer is a season of fun and adventure, but during such periods of hot weather, your car is at an increased risk of a breakdown. 

As temperatures rise in the summer, so do the chances of car overheating. In fact, if your car’s engine runs too hot on a regular basis, it could result in serious damage to your vehicle as well as a risk to your safety. 

However, do you know what to do when your car overheats? 

If you don’t, you’re not alone. Car overheating is a very common issue and one of the leading causes of hot weather breakdowns. Yet, many are not prepared for it.

That’s why, we’ve put together this article to help you understand the risks of car overheating and how you can prevent it, ensuring your summer trips go ahead without a hitch.

Let’s get started!

Why Is My Car Overheating in the Summer?

All car engines have a specific temperature where their performance is in an ideal range. When the temperature rises above that optimal range, it may cause your car engine to overheat and possibly get damaged as a result.

However, besides the hot weather, what causes car overheating? 

Alongside hot weather, the biggest cause of your car overheating is tied to issues with your coolant system. This system is responsible for cooling down your engine and keeping temperatures at an acceptable level. As such, a broken or damaged coolant system results in your car engine becoming too hot. Moreover, this could also damage your engine, vital hoses and seals that keep your engine running. 

Some other reasons your car keeps overheating also include a failing water pump, broken thermostat or cooling system leaks. These issues are only further aggravated by the hot summer when your car’s air conditioning is running in full swing.

How to Prevent Car Overheating

car keeps overheating, close up of car engine overheated

1) Check Your Oil and Coolant Levels Regularly

Your engine oil and coolant are crucial to keep the heat levels within your car’s engine system at manageable levels. However, without regular checks, car overheating can become a major issue. 

Whether you’re going on a day trip or a longer journey, take a few minutes to check your oil levels before you leave. This will only take a few minutes but could save you hundreds in car repair and recovery expenses.

2) Avoid Parking in Direct Sunlight

By parking your car in direct sunlight, you’re exposing your vehicle to intense heat, especially during summer. This could cause your car to heat up quickly and put stress on its cooling system.

Parking in shaded areas helps you avoid direct sunlight and maintain a cooler temperature inside your car.

3) Keep Your Windows Slightly Open When Driving

Keeping your car windows open while driving allows for better air circulation throughout your vehicle. This helps in dispelling heat more efficiently and allows for hot air to escape and fresh air to enter. 

As a result, you can reduce strain on your car’s cooling system and reduce chances of overheating.

4) Take Your Car for Regular Servicing and Maintenance

There are a couple of things you can do to prevent car overheating. However, one of the best and most effective prevention methods is to keep up with your car’s regular maintenance appointments. 

At a professional garage like In Town Automotive, you receive a full-service inspection that covers checking your car’s fluid levels, coolant system, hoses, belts and so much more.

Furthermore, if our expert mechanics notice excessive wear or leaks, rest assured we’ll inform you right away so they can be repaired immediately.

What to Do When Car Overheating Happens

why is my car overheating, woman making a call besides overheated car

Sometimes, despite following all the preventative measures, your car may still overheat. In this scenario, here’s what you need to do:

1) Pull Over

When driving, if you notice your temperature gauge heating up, smell coolant, or see steam coming out from your car’s bonnet, pull over immediately. Once you’ve parked your car safely, turn off the engine and let it cool for around 10 minutes.

2) Cool the Engine

Once you’re able to safely touch the bonnet of your car, open it and allow the heat to escape safely. Do not attempt to turn on your vehicle until all the steam/ smoke has dissipated.

3) Check Coolant Levels

After your engine has significantly cooled, check your coolant level. Typically, this is a translucent plastic tank located beside your radiator. If you’re still unsure or having issues finding it, consult your owner’s manual. If your coolant tank is empty or low, you may have a leak.

Never refill your coolant when the engine is still hot and don’t ever pour water into your engine. If you do not have spare coolant on hand, call the nearest recovery service.

If your coolant tank is still full, your car may be facing a mechanical or electrical issue. In this case, it is time you call for a recovery vehicle.

To Prevent Car Overheating, Contact In Town Automotive

Now that you understand the risks of car overheating in summer, it’s important to take all the precautionary measures to prevent it. If you’re looking for a professional garage to get your car serviced exceptionally, our experienced and reliable professionals are here for you!

At In Town Automotive, our technicians are well-equipped with the knowledge and experience to service your car and tackle any issues. As an award-winning garage in Northampton, we have years of experience in repairing brakes, clutches, exhausts and so much more.

With our help, you can keep your vehicle in top condition and ensure every journey is a comfortable and safe one.

To learn more about us, visit our services page or contact us to book an appointment today!

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