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A car that's overheating can ruin a trip. If you are driving and notice the temperature gauge is all the way up to the "H," your car is "running hot" and overheating will occur shortly. Each time overheating occurs it causes damage to the engine.
How many times have you been driving and seen someone pulled to the side of the road, car hood up, steam billowing from their engine, waiting for a tow truck? The overheating which has occurred has waylaid them and it could possibly have been avoided. If you want to avoid the delays and costs overheating causes, follow these tips. Car overheating problems can be costly. Read on to know what you should do when your car seems ready to overheat.

Antifreeze Not Properly Circulating
One possible reason a car for overheating is that antifreeze is not circulating through the engine as it should. Antifreeze serves two purposes. It not only keeps the engine temperature level during the winter (preventing the engine from freezing) , it also keeps cars from overheating during the warmer months. It's always a good idea to periodically look under one's car to see if there are any materials dripping from the car or if your car leaves any puddles or stains when parked. If so, dealing with the problem at this point may avoid ever having to deal with an overheating car problem.

Antifreeze loss can "sneak up on a person" though. You can see no leaks or evidence of drips and still be low on antifreeze. Use, evaporation and time are enough to lessen its supply. If you forget to replace antifreeze you can be driving along and suddenly notice that you car is overheating. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. If you want to avoiding overheating, make checking your antifreeze level a habit.

What to Do When Your Car Begins to Overheat
If the temperature gauge reaches near the "h", here are some courses of action to prevent your car from actually overheating. These steps are recommended until you can get yourself to a service station only.

First, turn the heat up in the car as high as possible. Running the heat will temporarily cool the engine and the temperature should drop. This will register on the gauge and prevent overheating. Your engine temperature may actually return to normal, simply by doing this.

If you know where the antifreeze and its reserve tank are on your car you can add about a half a cup of water. The antifreeze will be diluted, but with the added water it should be enough to circulate throughout the engine, and overheating can be prevented this way as well.

If you appear to have enough antifreeze in the car, the uptake hose may be the issue. Some hoses become ill-fitting over time and a new replacement hose may be all that is needed to prevent overheating in the future. The hose may have dislocated or be blocked. If the hose has detached, look through it to see if liquid would be able to pass through. It is unusual for a hose to be completely blocked, but it can happen. Blowing on the tube or running water on it may clean it out sufficiently for the liquid to be able to flow through it. If it has detached, simply reattach it. Later, buy a new hose. Overheating has been temporarily prevented, but without a new hose the problem will re-emerge.

Overheating problems occur for a number of reasons. Lack of antifreeze or its inability to flow into your engine is just one. However, these simple steps are one way to determine if this could be the reason and handle the problem so that you can get to a service station. Those who choose to ignore the temperature warning and drive until the engine is overheating damage their engines and usually wind up being towed.

Be Prepared to Handle Overheating
It's always a good idea to keep a flashlight, supply of water, antifreeze and brake fluid in your car. Having these items on-hand and knowing how to check your antifreeze can mean the difference between getting to a repair shop and a costly tow. If your car continues to "run hot", do have a qualified mechanic diagnose the problem. Overheating is an issue that should never be ignored and should be addressed promptly. Avoid overheating by making sure you always have a sufficient amount of anti-freeze! Happy motoring!
Posted 4:03 PM  View Comments

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