Driver's Guide

How to Stop a Car from Overheating While Driving

Howdy, Driver? Honestly, it is frustrating to have your car overheat. Fortunately, I have working measures on how to stop a car from overheating while driving. After this quick guide aids you out, never let your ride overheat again. If the car is really old and rickety, you need to do either of these with the car.

how to stop a car from overheating while driving

“What causes a car to overheat while driving?”, “How do you stop your car from overheating?” These and many more are being fixed in this article. Moreover, it is high time you begin treating your vehicle like yourself. It is just a car, yes, but it must be looked after just like humans.

How to Stop a Car from Overheating while Driving

Below are the ways to stop a car from overheating while driving:

1. Apply Coolant to the Radiator

Also called antifreeze, coolant keeps the radiator from overheating. People ask, “Can I use only water in my radiator?” Yes, you can but combining water with coolant is recommended.

how to keep a car from overheating while driving

The radiator is an important component of the temperature regulation of the car. On how to stop a car from overheating while driving, you need to hydrate the radiator by adding a bit of coolant and water.

Do not under-fill or overfill to prevent overheating. If the car is already overheating, be careful while loosening the cap as heat pressure may cause the leftover water/coolant to spill.

2. Rev Your Car

Does revving help the engine from overheating? To an extent, it does. Subtly rev the engine of your vehicle before driving.

how to stop a car from overheating

It helps to better vibrate some components in the car and support seamless oil movement throughout the engine. It is not the best practice on how to stop a car from overheating while driving an already heated car. Do not rev the engine if it is already overheating.

3. Leave the Windows Slightly Open

As petty as this may seem, it does help to cool the vehicle.should I use water or coolant

If you are certain that the car you are driving will overheat, do not fully close the windows. It should save as a natural coolant from the inside out of the vehicle.

When the car is parked, you may then close the windows for safety reasons. However, it is a poor practice to keep driving an overheated car while depending on wound down windows.

4. Leave Open the Engine Hood

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If the car is already overheating, take a break from the ride for at least 20 minutes while leaving the engine hood open. You may extend the action to the trunk but it does not matter since the trunk houses no engine. Upon opening the engine hood, do not pour water on the engine as it may instigate the heat.

5. Disable the Air Conditioning

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Can air conditioners cause a car to overheat? Yes, it can. It is either a failed air conditioning compressor that increases the engine load or the compressor locks up on the fan belt which makes it difficult for the fan belt to cool the heat from the engine coolant. So, disable the air conditioning when the weather condition is friendly. This will help to subdue pressure on the engine and cool the car.

6. Consider Replacing the Battery

what causes car to overheat while driving

Can a bad car battery cause overheat? A faulty battery can cause overheating while driving. If your battery is older than 3 years, you should consider a replacement. Better still, let the mechanic inspect the condition of the battery to determine how dependable it is for the car.

In cases where the battery is old, it might require replacement but this is left for the mechanic to decide. As an intelligent practice on how to stop a car from overheating while driving, do not cruise around with a faulty battery.

7. Park Under Shades

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Do not expose the car to overly hot weather.

Park near shaded zones and be mindful of what lies next to the car. Some of the structures along the road or in the house may not be harmful when near the car. Furthermore, it is perfectly what to do when a car overheats and won’t start.

What Causes Overheating in a Car?

Low Level of Coolant

Does low coolant level cause a car to overheat? Yes, once the coolant level is low, it results in overheating. The heat that should have been disposed of from the engine would be forced to remain while the coolant continues to steam.

To perfectly practice how to stop a car from overheating while driving, halt the ride, and fix the coolant level. Hey, low coolant while a car is overheating may damage the engine.

Worn Thermostat

The thermostat helps to regulate the flow of coolant. However, a broken thermostat will cease to perform this function which prevents the radiator from receiving coolant from the engine. Wondering what the thermostat is? Check between the engine and the radiator of your car, you should find the small device.

Leaky Water Pump

A leaky water pump prevents coolant from moving through the engine block, hose as well as a radiator. Where there is a leakage, coolant ceases to go through which results in a rapid temperature rise. This could be the reason why your car is overheating but the engineer will decide that.

Damaged Radiator

A damaged or crack radiator is another of the lethal reasons why a car overheats. The engine will be unable to receive an appropriate share of the coolant when the radiator is cracked. In cases where the crack is completely broken, replace it and do not take such a car out on the road.

Low Oil Level

Motor oil is vital for keeping the car temperate. When the oil level is low, the engine is unable to flush its waste heat which results in overheating. Ensure there is moderate and thick motor oil available to provide your car a seamless performance.

Broken Cooling Fan or Fan Belt

how to stop a car from overheating

The radiator fan or cooling fan sits between the radiator and the engine. It moves cooling air through the radiator while your vehicle is parked or moving at a slower pace. While the cooling fan is active, it absorbs heat from the engine-made coolant to keep the temperature at a moderate level.

If broken, you can be certain that the heat in the coolant made by the engine will not be removed, thus, causing overheating. The radiator fan belt also called serpentine plays a huge role by linking the alternator and crankshaft pulley to the cooling fan. If broken, it can result in your car overheating.

The Weather Condition

So, how do you fix a car that overheats under a bad weather condition? Simply park in a shade or don’t drive at all. If you are tempted to drive, schedule the ride for early mornings and evenings.

Broken Hose

One of the car hoses connects the radiator to your car. When it is broken, it is obvious that there is no longer a channel for coolant passage which results in overheating.

Why Is My Car Overheating but It Has Coolant in It?

When the engine coolant is not circulated, it becomes difficult for heat to be discharged. This forces the radiator to heat up, thus, resulting in overheating. You have either a faulty hose, poor thermostat, or damaged water pump.

What to Do when Car Overheats and Won’t Start

  • Turn off the engine and park under a shade.
  • Leave the engine hood open.
  • Open the windows.
  • Add water and coolant to the radiator.
  • Disable air conditioning.
  • After 20 minutes, try revving the engine mildly.

The car should now start. However, if the car does not start, inform the mechanic or wait a little longer and try revving the engine again.

How Far Can You Drive an Overheating Car?

Sincerely, the maximum time you can drive an overheating car is to stop driving. Nevertheless, if the situation is beyond control, drive for about 20 minutes and wait for about 20 minutes for the engine to cool off. Once you are close to a known region, contact a mechanic to handle the rest.

Why You Should Not Drive an Overheated Car

Managing an overheating is not a good practice concerning how to stop a car from overheating while driving. The cylinder heads will be greatly buckled and the gasket will eventually be destroyed which is expensive to replace.

Can an Overheated Engine Be Repaired?

Yes, an overheated engine can be repaired. The cost will depend on how much of the vehicle components have been affected. This is the reason why it is not advisable to progress any ride with an overheating car.

How to Prevent Your Car from Overheating Again

  • Frequently inspect the coolant level.
  • Don’t take your mind off the temperature gauge.
  • Replace the vehicle battery.
  • Don’t ignore coolant or antifreeze leaks.
  • Flush the radiator.
  • Rev the engine mildly before driving for the first time of the day.

Final Thought

You have read it all regarding the ways to stop a car from overheating while driving. This article further highlighted what to do when a car overheats and won’t start and How far can you drive an overheating car.

No matter what, do not drive an overheating car for a longer interval. Treat the car right and that way, you would be able to benefit from its worth.

Overheating cars are dangerous, not just to the car engine but for the safety of others and yourself. On common occasions, overheating cars result in a lethal fire explosion. It is smarter to do the right thing on time than seek a solution later.

Drive safe!

Meanwhile, Toyota is a brilliant company for decent MPG vehicles.

Latest posts by Bernard Juchli (see all)

Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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