What to Do When a Car Overheats

Overheating Car Engine

If your car is overheating, turn off the AC and put the heat on full blast—and then stop the vehicle at the earliest safe opportunity. Wait at least thirty minutes before you pop the hood, or you’ll be at risk for a serious burn.

Still not sure of what to do when a car overheats? Since continuing to drive the vehicle could lead to major damage or put you in danger, it’s what you shouldn’t do that matters most. Stop driving the car and call roadside assistance. The experts can ensure that your vehicle makes it into the shop without causing further damage.



My Car is Overheating: Causes & Next Steps

Most vehicles operate between 195 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit—and if you’re looking at the temperature gauge on your dashboard, you want to see the needle sitting right in the middle.

Not 100% sure if your car is overheating? Even if your temperature gauge appears to be normal, be on the lookout for the following signs as you drive through Warwick and Providence:

  • Smell of oil burning
  • Smoke or steam coming from your engine compartment
  • Ticking or banging sounds coming from under the hood

What causes a car to overheat? Generally speaking, you’re dealing with a problem related to the volume or distribution of coolant in your vehicle. If a car is overheating, these causes are the most likely culprits:

  • Not enough coolant in the vehicle
  • Coolant has been improperly mixed
  • Head gasket is broken
  • Coolant hose is blocked
  • Radiator is broken or malfunctioning
  • Water pump is broken or malfunctioning

So, why is your car overheating? The single most common cause of an overheating vehicle is coolant leaking from a broken head gasket. Schedule service and let us take a look before you determine your next steps.

Schedule Service with Mercedes-Benz of Warwick

If your car is overheating, you can count on our team to get you back on the roads of East Greenwich or Cranston in no time. Take advantage of our current service and parts specials if you need to pay us a visit, or continue your research online if you’d like to learn more about proper car care.


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