Imagine that you’re on your way to your girl’s (or boy’s) house. You’ve got every thing played out in your head. Candle light dinner, probably a little (just a little) dancing to kill the tension and then….your engine heats up. That’s it, no play time for you. Now you’re wondering (while you’re stuck on the road and calling your dad) what causes this and how can I solve it. Well, overheating is due to having a faulty cooling system. A cooling system is made up of different auto parts that keep your engine cool. To avoid this from happening again to you, check the different scenarios and tips below on how to go about keeping your engine (and yourself) cool.
One problem you may encounter is when your cooling system has a leak. You can find out by checking if your car’s temperature is warmer than its normal rate. Another is if your car is leaking a greenish type of fluid from underneath. Check the hood for any noises (like a whistling sound) or if you see or smell the liquid. If any of these signs appear, get a rag and open the lid of your car’s plastic overflow reservoir to check if there is any liquid in it. If you find any, then you have a serious problem and you’ll need your trusty mechanic to help you out.
Another sign that tells you your cooling system has gone awry is when your instrument panel starts to indicate that your car is running hot. This happens when your car’s in-heat (not in that way you pervert). Check your water gauge. If it stays or moves from the red portion then your car is overheating. Pull over immediately and have your car towed to prevent any further damage.
In case your car’s temperature heats up and no water is coming out of your tailpipe, park the car and leave the engine running. Check if the water temperature gauge is rising. If it hits the red portion of the meter and your engine fan isn’t working, then you have a busted sensor. Shut off the engine, let it cool and then look for the wire connecting the fan to the engine and remove the sensor. Have it replaced and then test if the fan is working and the temperature slowly cools down. If it doesn’t or the fan works but the temperature remains the same or increases, then your thermostat just gave. Replace the part and conduct the test again. If it works then off you go. If doesn’t then you’ll need to have the water pump or the radiator checked by a mechanic.
Keep in mind that these are just basic tips to help you get through your cooling system’s problems. If you’re unsure about trying any one of these steps, have a professional look into it and have the system replaced. It’s a bit pricey but some dealers that offer discount auto parts might be able to give you a working cooling system at an affordable price.