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Your Engine is Too Hot; What Should You Do?

If your engine becomes too hot and you see the warning in the gauges that show you the temperature is in the red/orange area or you see steam coming out from under the hood, there are some things you need to do right away. You want to prevent severe damage from taking place in your engine bay and you’ll have a better chance at saving your engine if you follow some simple steps when you receive the signal your engine is overheating.

The Steps to Take

  1. Turn Off the A/C and Turn on the Heat – This might seem counterintuitive, but the heating system of your car can bring some of the hot air off the engine and cool the engine area down.
  2. Pull-Off to the Side of the Road – Find a safe place to pull over so that you can begin to check the engine and see what the problem is.  Make sure you do this in an area that’s safe and clear of the traffic.
  3. Shut Off the Engine and Open the Hood – When you turn off the engine it will begin to cool down.  Popping the hood open will allow the excess heat to escape which should cool the engine down.
  4. Wait for Some Time – Once you open the hood, you need to let your vehicle cool down for at least 30-60 minutes before doing anything.  Don’t add fluids until this time has passed and avoided standing over the engine where hoses might burst and douse you in hot liquid.
  5. Perform an Inspection – Look for leaks, steam, or other issues coming from areas of the engine bay.  Check the radiator, hoses, and engine area to see if anything looks out of the ordinary or if you see steam or fluids coming out.
  6. Check and Fill the Coolant – Check the coolant reservoir and see if it needs to be topped off.  Only fill this reservoir to the fill line.  If you don’t have coolant, distilled water can work if needed, but make sure it is warm and not cold.
  7. Restart the Engine – Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes.  If the temperature gauge stays in the normal range, keep driving.  Take your vehicle to a nearby Jiffy Lube® service station as soon as possible.
  8. Call a Tow Truck – If you see a leak or the vehicle doesn’t cool down for you, call a tow truck and ask for the vehicle to be towed to a reputable mechanic.  Driving a vehicle that’s overheating could cause more damage to the engine area.

Let Jiffy Lube® Take a Look

You can prevent most of the troubles you might have with an overheating engine by allowing your local Jiffy Lube® team to perform preventative maintenance whenever you visit. Stop by and take advantage of the amazing services offered today.

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