If you begin to overheat, time becomes extremely critical. That’s because as the engine continues to run, it will get hotter and hotter. Your temperature gauge will stop moving up once it reaches a certain range. However, your engine will continue to increase in temperature until it stops running. This is absolutely a possibility and very probable if you continue to drive the vehicle after it has began to overheat. Once an engine heats up past a certain temperature, the piston rings will lose their tension causing a catastrophic loss of compression. At this point, the engine will simply shut off. Should this occur, the engine will need to be replaced or rebuilt. Don’t tempt fate by trying to get to your destination. A tow bill will be much cheaper than destroying your engine.
If you’re in traffic or at a stop light, try to safely pull over as quickly as possible. The key is to minimize the amount of time the engine spends hotter than its optimal range.
This may help minimize the damage by providing another way to dissipate the heat from the engine.
The best way to deal with an overheating vehicle is to prevent it entirely. Regular inspections can clue you into potential problems before they happen.
The most common reason for overheating is low coolant levels. Topping off your coolant can get you back on the road, even if it’s just to your local repair shop.
Overheating is entirely preventable. Remain car care aware and don’t put off recommended repairs. Give us a call if you’re overheating or have any questions!