Fluids & Chemicals

What To Do (And Not Do) When Your Car Overheats

You might be asking yourself, “What should I do if my car overheats?” Car overheat is a common problem that can happen to any driver. But as with most things, there are ways to avoid it.

If you have ever had to deal with a car overheating, then you know how stressful it can be. Car engines are very sensitive and when they overheat there is no stopping the damage that will take place if you don’t address the problem quickly. Here we want to help make sure your engine never overheats by giving some tips for what to do (and not do) in an emergency situation where your engine has stopped working due to overheating.

What To Do and Not To Do

Don’t Panic

If your engine has overheated, it is very important that you don’t panic. Car overheat emergencies are pretty common and can happen to anyone. No one ever plans for this type of thing happening, but if it does make sure you stay calm and take the appropriate steps to cool off your car’s system. You might be able to bring down the temperature by removing some items from your trunk which will help free up space in there so when hot air starts blowing out of the vents it doesn’t get trapped inside.

Shut Off Your Car Immediately

What To Do and Not To Do1It is imperative that you shut your vehicle off as soon as possible without leaving anything on such as headlights or A/C (unless they’re automatic). This is because your car’s system will continue to heat up even if you’re not moving. It is also important that you don’t open the hood because this can release hot steam and cause burns.

Get Out of Car

You should always get out of the vehicle as soon as possible too, but make sure you do so safely by closing the door behind you (to avoid any pressure changes). Even if it isn’t a safe spot for an overheated vehicle, like on a busy street or in a field, it is still better than risking injury inside while trying to help cool down your engine.

Call For Help

The next step after getting out of the car would be to call someone who can come over with tools such as jumper cables or to call a tow truck. If you don’t have anyone close by, there is another option that we’ll go over next.

Don’t Leave Car Alone

What To Do and Not To Do2One thing that some people do in this situation is to leave their car alone with the engine running so it can cool off on its own. The problem with doing this though is that not only will your car continue to heat up but also gas could leak out and cause an even bigger fire hazard than before when your vehicle overheats. That’s why it would be better for you or someone else who has come over to stay near the car until help arrives. It may take a while (depending on how long it takes for assistance) but at least no one will get hurt!

When everything is back to normal, you need to figure out the cause of the engine overheating. Maybe you didn’t notice the overheating in time because the temperature gauge wasn’t working? This is something that you should get checked out right away. Car overheats emergencies are never fun but following these steps, it can help to keep the damage minimal when your engine overheats!

If you want to make sure that everything is okay with your engine before driving anywhere else, there are a few steps that you’ll need to take first:

  • Check the coolant level in the radiator
  • Run the engine for 10 minutes or so
  • Re-check coolant levels
  • If the problem persists, have a mechanic inspect your vehicle


Car engines are very sensitive and they will stop working if left for too long with an overheated system. Don’t panic or leave the car alone – instead, shut off the engine immediately and call someone for assistance as soon as possible!

About the author

Andy Shane

My name is Andy Shane, and I like to spend my free time conquering the most difficult off-road tracks. Off-road vehicles fascinate me more than any other vehicles types. Surely, there are not so many people who would share the passion for getting out of all possible muds and wilderness in their Jeeps, but those who do will find lots of interesting information in my blog.

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