Take These Steps if Your Car or Truck is Overheating

Do Not Drive!
Pull Over Immediately.
Call a Tow Truck.

The most important thing to know about an overheating vehicle is that it should not be driven until the underlying mechanical issue is resolved, and the engine is repaired. Attempting to drive an overheated car can put you and others in danger of an accident, plus cause further, possibly irreversible, damage to the engine. This can lead to costly repairs that could easily be avoided.

Continue below to learn details on how to deal with an overheated car engine on the road.

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Why You Should Never Drive With an Overheated Engine

Never attempt to drive a vehicle that is overheating.  Doing so poses several dangers to you and your passengers, and can also cause severe engine damage. As a result, you might require an entire engine replacement. Replacing or purchasing a new engine can be very expensive, which is why people turn to rebuilt engines in order to save some cash.


Stop driving and safely pull over as soon as your car engine begins to overheat. If smoke is bellowing out from underneath your hood, your car is no longer safe to drive, even if you top off the coolant. Instead, you will need to contact a local Indianapolis IN towing company to have your vehicle towed to the nearest auto repair shop for inspection and service.


If your dashboard shows low levels of overheating, you may just need some more coolant. If you have some in your car, you can refill it on your own. First, let the engine cool completely. Stay in your car while you allow it to come to a safe, workable temperature. Once your engine has cooled, 10 minutes or so, safely exit your vehicle while watching out for oncoming traffic. Open your radiator fluid cap and pour in your antifreeze (coolant). Re-tighten the cap and be sure your hood is locked into place before starting up the ignition.

Letting the Engine Cool

In minor cases of overheating car engines, you may be able to let the engine cool completely and drive the car home yourself.  But if this is a far distance, it is safer for you, your car, and other drivers on the road, to have the car towed back by a towing company.

Have Your Vehicle Serviced ASAP

After contacting a local tow truck company, have them tow your vehicle to the nearest auto repair shop, or the mechanic of your choice.  Some auto repair shops offer pickup and towing services, but these are not always free. Be sure to ask first because you are probably better off calling for professional tow truck service.

Maintaining Proper Coolant Levels

The most common reason why cars overheat is lack of coolant fluid, or antifreeze, in the engine.  Fortunately, this is a simple issue that can be resolved with a quick refill. Do not attempt to check the car’s radiator fluid while the engine is warm. This can be very dangerous and can cause serious burns and other injuries. When the vehicle is cool, be sure the car is on level ground, so you are getting accurate reading levels.

Did your car break down on the side of the road and now you need some help? Contact Zore’s Towing for 24 hour roadside assistance and towing services in Indianapolis and its surrounding locations. Request a free estimate, anytime!

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