What To Do When My Car Engine Is Getting Too Hot?

Have you ever been afraid to see smoke coming out of your car when you are on a summer drive? Who wouldn’t be afraid, right? This happens when your car engine is getting too hot and this is not at all a situation to ignore. If ignored, the damage that it causes to your engine can be permanent.

You wouldn’t want that, would you? This article discusses the causes of such a problem and what you should do when your car engine overheats. So read on and do not let something like this happen to you again!

What Causes My Car To Overheat?

The first and foremost thing you should know when your car engine is getting too hot is why this happens. It may not just be hot temperatures that are causing your car to overheat. There are a few engine issues that can cause your car to overheat.

1. Coolant

Every car comes with a coolant to reduce the temperature of your car and the engine. However, if your coolant or the cooling system has a leak, blockage or pump malfunction, the coolant will fail to work properly, unable to circulate well. Sure you will have a very disturbing and annoying drive if the temperature outside is hot and the coolant is faulty. But not only you will have a bad time but your engine will too, making it overheat and in worst situations, cause smoke to come out of it. 

2. Car Thermostat

Another issue if your car engine is getting too hot, your car’s thermostat may be faulty. The thermostat in your vehicle is responsible for regulating the amount of coolant flowing through the engine. Thus if your thermostat is faulty, it is only common for your car to overheat. 

3. Low Motor Oil

Lubricating the moving parts of your car is not the only job of your motor oil. It also helps in removing all the excess heat from the engine. Thus a low motor oil can be a reason if your car engine is getting too hot. 

4. Radiator Cooling Fan

If the radiator cooling fan is not turning on or running at the right level, the engine in your car can overheat. Radiator cooling fans in your car are run by motors and if by any chance there are any mechanical issues in those motors, the radiator won’t work properly. 

They alone may not be the cause of engine overheating so it is best to get your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible if your car’s engine gets hot excessively. 

What Are The Signs That My Engine Is Overheating?

It is always better to take precautionary measures to cool your engine before it starts overheating. For that, knowing the signs that show that your car’s engine is overheating may help you. This will also reduce the risk of irreversible engine damage. 

  • Steam that may resemble smoke coming from under the hood of your car. 

  • The temperature gauge in your car hiking up to H or showing red indicating that the engine is overheating excessively. The engine temperature gauge signs may vary according to the model of your car so referring to your car’s user manual will help you know what sign your car’s temperature gauge shows.

  • A strange unusual smell coming from the engine area. For example, if your coolant is leaking, it may smell sweet while if your oil is leaking, it may smell more burnt. 

If you notice any of the signs, you can conclude that your engine is overheating and you can follow the below steps to avoid any further damage to your car. 

What To Do When My Car Engine Is Getting Too Hot?

If your car’s engine starts overheating when you are driving, you have to immediately stop your car. Here are the precautionary measures you should take as soon as you notice your car engine getting hot. 

1. Kill The A/C And Crank The Heat

As soon as you notice your car’s engine getting hot, turn off the a/c to reduce the stress on the engine. Then turn the dial to maximum heat. This will pull the heat away from the engine and will stop it from overheating further. You only need to do this until you can pull over your car somewhere safe. 

2. Find A Safe Place To Pull Over

As soon as you notice that your car’s engine is overheating, you should search for a safe place to pull over after killing the a/c. Once you successfully park your car, leave it to cool down for at least 15 mins. Keep checking the temperature gauge to see if it is going to the normal range as the engine is cooling down.

While waiting and checking the temperature gauge, you can formulate a plan to do something with your overheated car like call a friend, mechanic or a tow truck.

3. Check And Add A Coolant

Having a coolant with you may come in handy so you can check the coolant level in your car and add it if necessary. This will help you to cool your car’s engine faster. However, if the issue is something else like a clogged coolant hose or broken radiator fan or water pump, this won’t do much to help. If you are unaware of where the coolant reservoir tank is, you can make use of the car’s user manual. 

4. Restart The Engine

If your plan didn’t involve calling a tow truck to take your car, you can slowly restart your engine after making sure it completely cooled down. But your car may not be yet ready to take you to your desired destination so it is best to slowly drive your car to the nearest repair shop. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge as you drive to see if the temperature of your engine is rising. 


Your car’ engine overheating is not at all something that you should ignore in any way. The consequences of ignoring such a dangerous sign can be very dangerous and fatal. Take your car to a mechanic or get it pulled to a repair shop by a tow truck as soon as you see the signs of your car overheating while driving. Hope this article helps you in the time of need! 

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