Help – My Car Is Overheating!
The most common causes of overheating are problems with the cooling systems and these can be exacerbated by hot days where the temperature tops 30c.
If your car overheats (temperature warning light comes on or steam is coming from your bonnet), then pull over to the side of the road when it’s safe to do so, turn your engine off and get any passengers out of the car.
If you can unlock the bonnet from the inside of the car, then do so but remember that the steam from the engine will have made your bonnet very hot so protect your hands when you lift the bonnet up. Do not at this stage attempt remove the cap from the radiator or the expansion tank as it will still be pressurised and could lead to severe steam burns.
Leave the engine to cool for at least 30 minutes and for much longer on a hot day.
Once the engine has properly cooled, you may be able to remove the radiator or expansion tank cap but do so with caution, opening it slowly with your hands covered as there might still be pressurised steam to escape. Check the coolant tank next to the radiator if your car has one. If it is empty, you may have run out or you may have a leak – check under the car for signs of a leak like a puddle.
Fill an empty tank with coolant or warm water mixed with coolant– never pour cold water into a hot radiator – you may do more damage to your engine!
If the coolant tank is full, then there is a problem with the coolant system and this is likely to require professional attention.
If you don’t address the issue, by failing to fill up your coolant or getting your cooling system fixed or continuing to drive with an overheating engine you could end up with a very hefty repair bill.