What Should I do About an Overheating Car?

Harriette Halepis

An overheating car can cause a great deal of panic. Some of the reasons that cars overheat include an engine that cannot effectively dispel heat, coolant that has run out, a cracked cap seal, or a car that needs oil. By running down this list of possibilities, you can attempt to determine the cause of an overheating car.

An overheating car may be out of coolant.
An overheating car may be out of coolant.

There are a couple of things that can be done to temporarily stop an overheating car. These tactics will work until you can bring your car to a service station to find out the true root of the problem. First, increase the temperature inside of your car by turning up all of your car's heaters. When you increase the heat inside of your car, any additional engine heat will be efficiently extracted.

Adding more antifreeze is always the best option, but it is safe to add one cup of water if necessary.
Adding more antifreeze is always the best option, but it is safe to add one cup of water if necessary.

If this heating trick does not work, you can add one cup (236.5ml) of water to your car's antifreeze tank. Even though this will dilute the antifreeze, it will also cool your car down enough to function. Of course, if you have antifreeze, adding some of this to the tank is a better idea. If your car appears to have enough antifreeze already, the problem could be a blocked hose.

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You should only remove the antifreeze hose if you know where it is located. Once a hose is removed, you can look inside of it to determine whether or not the hose is blocked. By blowing into the hose, you should be able to dislodge any obstacles. By going through each of these tips one-by-one, you car should stop overheating.

An overheating car should not be ignored for too long. Any car that continues to overheat each time it runs is a car that may have various underlying troubles. In this case, only a properly trained mechanic can determine the cause of an overheated car. Even if you have never had to deal with an overheating car, it is a good idea to be prepared for this type of incident.

Carry a flashlight, antifreeze, and an extra bottle of water with you at all times. This way, if your car does begin to overheat, you will be able to fix the problem. When a car begins to overheat on a desolate or dangerous road, you may not want to attempt to fix your car right away. In this case, the best thing to do is to call a towing company.

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Discussion Comments


i have a 98 chevy malibu, i have changed the thermostat, and the cap. there's no water leaking anywhere. the car is overheating and my heater won't blow hot air. if anyone has any suggestions to how to stop my car from overheating, please let me know. i also put new plugs in.

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