3 Things You Should NEVER Do When a Car Engine Overheats

An overheating car could be caused by a variety of reasons.  It could be a broken radiator, a kinked radiator hose, a faulty thermostat, and maybe even a lack of coolant.  There are many more reasons as well.  No matter what the cause, if you are ever in a similar situation, there are three major things you should never do while your car is still hot or overheating.

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❶ NEVER Continue Driving

When you first notice that your vehicle is overheating, it is crucial to pull over and stop the car immediately.  An overheating car should never be driven.  This can be very dangerous.  Wait until your car is entirely cooled down before starting the engine again.

❷ Never Check Radiator Fluid

Checking your fluid levels in your radiator when the car is overheating is simply asking for trouble.  It can be extremely dangerous.  There is a lot of pressure built up beneath the radiator cap.  Boiling hot fluids and steam can shoot out at high speeds, potentially burning and injuring anyone in its path.  Determine whether or not you are on an inline for accurate fluid readings.  If the car is not level, the fluids cannot be level.

❸ Never Use Cold Water

When a car’s engine has overheated, do not put cold water in the vehicle.  Not only can this damage the engine block and cause it to crack, it can lead to other severe auto damages and costly repairs.  Let a car cool down completely, as mentioned earlier, before tending to an overheated engine.

Causes for Overheating Engine

The most common reason a car overheats is because it is out of coolant! If you use the improper coolant concentration in your vehicle, you can definitely expect it to overheat at some point. It is important to have the proper water-to-coolant ratio for proper cooling operation. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to learn the proper coolant concentration recommended for your make and model car or truck. If you don’t have your owners’ manual, look online for a replacement copy. You can download one for free by visiting your vehicle’s manufacturer website.


First and foremost, always be sure to let the engine cool down completely before opening the hood. Now, since the most common reason a car overheats is because it is out of coolant, always keep a bottle of radiator fluid in your trunk so that you can be prepared in the case of an emergency. If you are stuck on the side of the road with no one to call for help, contact a local 24 hour roadside assistance tow truck for help.

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Call Zore’s Towing at 317-247-8484 for 24 hour roadside assistance and towing services in Indianapolis and throughout Central Indiana. Our friendly staff is waiting by the phones, ready to help you get back on the road, safe and sound. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, so you can always count on us. Request a free estimate, today.

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