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San Francisco European Auto Repair

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What to Do When Your Engine Overheats

There are many possible reasons that a car's engine may overheat which may occur at any time. It is important to recognize the signs of overheating and know what to ahead of time in case it catches you by surprise. One of the classic signs of an overheated engine is smoke or steam seeping out from under the hood of the car. Another clear sign is if the engine's temperature gauge on the car's dashboard is indicating that the car's temperature is higher than it should be.

One of the easiest things you can do immediately is turn your car's heater on and air conditioning off. This will attract the heat in the engine away into the area of the car the heater is warming, thus cooling the engine. It is also important to pull over your car and stop the engine as soon as is safely possible. This will give the engine time to cool down on its own. This is a great time to call a friend, family member, or roadside assistance for help if you wish while you let the engine rest for at least 15 minutes. The engine is probably very hot still at this time and you may be burned by steam if you try to open the hood to see the engine.

After 15 minutes have passed, if you do not opt to call for roadside assistance you can add coolant, a mixture of equal parts water and antifreeze, to the radiator yourself. Be careful to open the cap to the radiator slowly as it is probably under pressure due to the heat. Once the engine temperature gauge shows that the engine has cooled to a safe temperature you can turn the engine back on and continue driving. Remember that after your car has overheated once it is vital that you get your car's engine serviced as soon as possible to find out why it overheated and have any problems fixed. 

If you need engine repair, don't hesitate to give International Sports Motors a call today!