What to Do if Your Car Does Overheat

In our last post, we covered how to prevent your car from overheating. However, sometimes even with routine maintenance a car can overheat. For instance, hot weather causes cars to overheat. If you find yourself in a dilemma like this, act quickly. If you’re stuck in traffic and have nowhere to pull off, shut off your air conditioner and open your windows. You want the engine to cool down quickly.Man And His Over Heated Car

Here are some other tips recommended by repair and maintenance experts:

• Turn on the heater and blower if the vehicle continues to overheat. Transfer the heat from the engine to the passenger compartment of the vehicle. You’ll be hot but your vehicle won’t be. A maintenance and repair shop needs to be the next stop on your list.
• Shift into Neutral or Park when stopped in traffic. The water pump and fan speed up making liquid and air pass through the radiator quickly. Once the air and liquid circulate, the vehicle cools. It’s less likely to overheat for more than a couple of minutes.
• Go easy on the brakes. Brake drag cause the engine to heat up and sometimes overheat. Crawl along slowly. Be careful not to run into any automobiles, however, or you’ll need more than scheduled maintenance to repair your vehicle. Avoid the maintenance and repair shop by driving slow and pulling off whenever you can safely.
If your car overheats, don’t panic. It happens to the best of us! Pull over to the side of the road or street, pop the hood, and turn off the ignition. Let everything cool down on its own. Do not remove the radiator cap because you’ll be burned by the steam coming out. When in doubt, call the maintenance and repair shop and request that a mechanic assist you roadside.
Add antifreeze/coolant. Call a repair shop if the vehicle continues to overheat. It’s indicative to other problems which cost a mint if not taken care of right away. Perform routine maintenance on your vehicle as a preventative measure against cooling. Top off fluids, check hoses, and make sure caps are tight and not broken.
Having a mechanic perform a maintenance check to identify problems that need repair is a wise move on your behalf. If you don’t want your vehicle to overheat, you’ll want to take the steps necessary to prevent that from happening.

Performance Trucks & Auto Repair in Montgomery, AL can help you when your car overheats. We provide experienced and affordable automotive care, and can help with any repairs or accessories your truck may need.

Call us today at (334) 245-6600 for more information!

Proudly serving Montgomery, AL and its surrounding areas.


  1. Thanks for the information! It’s been difficult making sure that my car doesn’t overheat while I’m driving it. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but it seems to want to run hot during the winter. It seems like a good idea to know what to do in case it overheats now that it’s warmer. I liked your tip about shifting into neutral when stopped in traffic. One of my fears is that my car would overheat while I’m in traffic. It’s good to know that doing that would help to transfer heat from the engine to the passenger compartment to make sure that the car won’t be hot until I can get it to a maintenance shop.

  2. Your comment about the brakes, was interesting. I had no idea that brakes could contribute to a car over heating. One time, my family and I were on our way to California, and our car overheated on the way there. We had to contact an auto repair service to help tow and fix our car. It was awful, but we got through it. Thanks for sharing your comments and tips.

    • I had the same thing happen to me! Granted, it was on a really hot day, but we’d driven in that weather before and it was fine. I guess driving up too many hills can put a strain on your radiator anyway. We’re lucky to have people who can repair radiators so efficiently. Thanks for sharing, Charlotte.

  3. Thanks for the information on what to do if my car overheats. I’ll be sure to turn on the heater and shift to neutral as soon as I notice my car overheating. Do you have any other tips for me?

  4. I like how you said, “Shift into neutral or Park when stopped in traffic”. This definitely helps the engine cool faster. I broke down last spring, and I did this. Thus, my car cooled down and was home in half an hour. Do you think having an emergency roadside kit with you is a good idea?

  5. I have had my vehicle overheat on me before and it ended up being that I needed to get some radiator repairs done. It was kind of scary to watch the temperature gauge climb like that and then the car freaked out. If I would have known about these tips on what to do when it does overheat, then I could have really made sure that it got taken care of quicker. Then not so much damage would have been done to the vehicle’s radiator.

  6. Usually, the radiator is something that you want to check if the car overheats. I know that the car can have some pretty big problems if it gets too hot. Without the radiator, you won’t have a working engine.

  7. I heard that the car overheats because the radiator is having problems. I will definitely need to check this problem with my car in the summer. Right now I am using the hot air in my car but I will notice there is a problem come summertime.

  8. I’ve been having car problems recently, and unfortunately I don’t know the first thing about cars. I just want to make sure that I am more prepared when future problems may arise. I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this article, and I will use these tips if my car ever overheats on me. Thanks for sharing this with me!

  9. Your car is overheating when you are driving a long time. It looks a good idea to known about overheats now that is warmer. It would help to transfer the heat from the engine to the passenger compartments.

  10. Haha, performancetruck ! “what to do if my car does overheat!” I don’t know. This is also my own question. I need the solution for my car.

  11. I’ve noticed that my car has been running hot lately, even though I make sure to top off my fluids regularly, so it helps to know other things I can do to protect my car. You said something interesting about how brake drag can cause my engine to overheat. Perhaps I’m dragging my brakes more than I should, so I’ll make a conscious effort to avoid doing that to protect my engine. Thanks for the tips!

  12. I’m a first time car owner and I’m still trying to learn the tricks of actually owing a car. The other day though it began to overheat and I quickly pulled off into a gas station and let it cool down. I was fine until I got home but I still think that there is a problem. This helped me know what to do and I’ll start by trying to turn on the heater and blower the next time it does begin to overheat.

  13. I’ll be taking a lot of road trips this summer, and I was concerned about my car overheating along the way. These are great tips and help me feel more confident in my ability to handle the situation. I like your tip to go easy on the breaks. I didn’t realize that could heat up the engine. I”ll follow your tips and then wait for a professional to take care of the problem. Thanks!

  14. I once got some small burns cause I didn’t wait long enough before removing the radiator cap, so I appreciate you sharing that tip so that others can avoid the burns. I’ve had enough trouble with my cars overheating in the past, that I would just leave that work to a radiator specialist. That way you can avoid some nasty burns. Thanks for sharing the tips!

  15. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that braking can cause the engine to heat up. My radiator has been having some problems, and I’m going to be taking it in for repairs soon, but until then, I want to prevent my car from overheating. I’ll definitely try and go easy on the brakes while I drive to keep things cooler. Thanks for the great post!

  16. I just wanted to thank you for explaining what you should do if your car is overheating. I didn’t know that brake drag could actually cause the engine to overheat. My brother has been thinking of getting a car and it woulds like it would be beneficial for him to know what to do in situations like these, especially if it can help keep his car going.

Speak Your Mind


Translate »