You just got out of the across town movie and it’s late. You have to work in the morning so you get into your car to make the long trek home. It may be one in the morning but you are alert and watching the road when suddenly you see steam billowing out of the front of your car. That steam, combined with the sinking feeling in your stomach, can only mean one thing. Your car is overheating! The best thing you can do right now is to pull over and call the tow truck. Having your car towed to a repair facility rather than driving it there can save you many hundreds of dollars in extra repairs depending on the cause of the overheating problem in the first place. What if you can’t get a tow truck or there isn’t a mechanic around for many miles, what do you do then? Don’t panic and keep your cool, even if your car isn’t. Follow this advice from GIC Car Clinic:

  1. Pull over and turn off your engine. This is the most important thing that you can do to save your engine.
  2. If you aren’t able to pull over right away because of traffic, at least turn off the AC and turn on the heat at the highest setting.
  3. Lift the hood to help cool off the engine bay. If the car is spewing steam out from under the hood, wait until the steam subsides a bit before lifting the hood.
  4. Do Not Open The Radiator Cap!! We can’t stress this enough, let the car cool down for about a half an hour before opening the radiator and, even then, use gloves or a towel to protect your hand from dangerous burns.
  5. If your coolant is low, try to carefully find the source of the leak. If you cannot find the leak, add more coolant to bring the engine’s temperature down and drive the car carefully, keeping an eye on the temperature gauge. If the car overheats again, add more coolant. Keep doing this until you get to the repair shop.

The above tips are only good for the short -term, do not try to run your car this way for an extended period of time. Get your car in to GIC Car Clinic right away and have it repaired by our experts. Getting the problem fixed sooner rather than later can save you a lot of money.