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How To Deal With an Overheating Engine

There are many potential causes for a steaming, smoking engine. Luckily, solving the problem may be as simple as adding water and coolant to your radiator.


  • Step 1: Have a repair shop make the necessary diagnosis and repairs. Overheating is most frequently due to problems with a thermostat, cooling system, fan, water pump, belts and hoses, or radiator. Unless you know cars, you are better off leaving these repairs to an expert.
  • FACT: While a standard car engine is 200 horsepower, most of the time, drivers use only 30-40 horsepower.
  • Step 2: Have the vehicle towed to a repair shop if the problem is not the water or coolant levels.
  • Step 3: Wait for the engine to cool. Make sure the radiator cap fits properly and the radiator and coolant recovery bottle are full of coolant. Add water and coolant as necessary.
  • Step 4: Stop driving as soon as the engine overheats, and you can safely bring the vehicle to a stop. Continuing to drive an overheated vehicle may result in serious damage.
  • TIP: Before your engine overheats, if you notice the heat gauge on your dashboard climbing, shut off your air conditioning. This relieves some engine stress.
  • : Never attempt to remove the radiator cap while the engine is hot. Doing so may result in severe burns.

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