How To Take Care Of An Overheated Car

17 May 2020

There is literally nothing more heart-sinking than seeing a red warning light switch on when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic or driving down a remote wadi track. It’s a fact of UAE life that the heat, dust, and sand can all make your car more likely to overheat. So it pays to be prepared. If your car is getting dangerously hot, it’s essential you know what to do so you stay safe and limit expensive damage to your engine.

Why do cars overheat?

Cars of any age can overheat. Our punishingly hot summer temperatures make it more likely to happen, especially if the coolant in your engine is running low. Cars can also overheat if there is a problem with the air circulation, for example, because the filters are clogged with sand and dust.

In some cases, an overheating problem could be a sign of a more serious problem with the engine. Whatever the cause, if your car is overheating, you need to take action right away.

What to do when your car starts to overheat

If your engine temperature warning light switches on, or you notice steam coming out of your bonnet, you need to act fast:

  • Pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Turn off the engine.
  • Get out of the car, and make sure any passengers get out as well. Make sure you all get away from the car in case it catches on fire.
  • Open the bonnet to let the engine cool down. Bear in mind that it could be very hot, so you may need to use something to protect your hands.
  • Whatever you do, don’t try to open the radiator cap right away as the pressurised steam could lead to serious burns.
  • When the engine has cooled, check the coolant tank. If it’s empty you could have run out or there could be a leak.
  • Fill the coolant tank with coolant or a mix of coolant and water. It’s best not to use just water if possible. And don’t just grab a bottle of water from the chiller at Spinneys. Pouring cold water onto the hot parts could damage the engine.
  • If the coolant tank is full, it’s likely there is a different problem with your engine and you’ll need mechanical help.

Never continue to drive when your car is overheating. If you do, you could cause significant damage to the engine that will cost a lot more to put right.

Prevention is better than cure

As a general guide, in the UAE you should think about getting your car serviced every 5,000km. Having your car serviced regularly, especially during the hot summer months, can help to prevent your car from overheating. A service will check that coolant levels stay topped up and filters can be cleaned or replaced to ensure good air circulation.

Automall offers a one-stop shop for all car makes and models. Our highly skilled mechanics have years of training and automotive experience, so they’ll know exactly what to do when it comes to your servicing and repair needs. That means you can be confident that they’ll be able to identify and fix any problem quickly, no matter what type of car you drive.

Don’t put off getting your car serviced. If you do, it could cost you a lot more in the long run in terms of repairs and recovery. Even worse, you could face the misery of breaking down in the mid-day August sun. Book your service today and be sure to stay cool.