If you haven’t experienced it, I’m sure you have passed someone who has.
You’re on vacation and the car is packed to the gills with all you need to make a home away from home.
It’s 97 degrees outside and the humidity is thick and heavy. You notice the car’s temperature gauge is creeping higher than it normally does. You feel your heart begin to race and you beg your car not to overheat now. It’s a weekend and the road is jammed with bumper to bumper traffic.
If the car overheats you will have to pull over to make multiple phone calls and wait for a tow truck to take you to a garage. Being a weekend you know it’s highly unlikely a garage will be open. Who knows how long you will be stuck in some dinky little town, and you may get taken advantage of, and the icing on the cake is… this is your vacation. You will be wasting precious vacation time getting the car repaired.
NEVER, NEVER EVER remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The coolant in the radiator is under pressure and you could get seriously burned if it sprays out at your. Be Patient! Let the engine and coolant cool down so much that you can touch the engine without burning your fingers. This will take at least 45 min. to an hour.
IF the radiator is full of coolant, there is not much else you can do except call a two truck and have a professional auto technician diagnose why your vehicle overheated.
There are a number of different reasons a car will overheat. The most common ones are:
- Radiator hoses or fan belts breaking
- Clamp coming loose on one of the radiator hoses
- Malfunction of the cooling fan
- Radiator cap that is not sealing correctly or is worn out.
- Broken thermostat
- Worn out radiator
I highly recommend that you bring your car in for a “Trip Check” before you head out on the road. Then you can be sure your car will be safe and reliable while you relax and have a vacation!