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8 Tricks On What To Do When Your Car Starts To Overheat



car radiator cap

During hot weathers like we are experiencing in Nigeria now, cars tend to overheat. This overheating isn’t so common in newer cars. In as much as it is rare for a modern vehicle to overheat, they can still be victims of car overheating.

Another scenario that exposes a car to overheating is when you are driving in a stop=and-go traffic or climbing a steep hill slowly due to traffic.

When your car faces such conditions, the temperature gauge on your dashboard will start creeping towards the ‘Hell’ zone….sorry, hot zone.

Here are some steps you can adopt to make your car cool down.

1. When you notice the temperature gauge creeping towards “H zone”, shutdown your air conditioner and open your windows. This helps in decreasing the load on your car engine.
hand turning off the airconditioner

2. If the overheating becomes more serious, turn on the car fan to the max and crank the heat up to full blast. This will help by sucking off the hot air from the engine and channeling it into the car.
This might get you uncomfortable. So you have to point the vent towards the window with your windows down.
blasting the car fan

3. If you’re in traffic and the heating persists, shift your gear lever to Neutral position and rev the car a little bit. This will make the water pump and engine fan to speed up. This will draw more liquid and air through the radiator. It cools things off.

4. Reduce your braking. Don’t ride your brakes. Rather than driving and braking repeatedly, make calculated movements. I know this would be hard for our Lagos state drivers. Brake drags increase the load on the engine and makes it heat up.
If traffic is crawling, move up only when the gap between you and the vehicle in front of you gets too large. Prepare your mind to receive better cursing from drivers behind

5. After doing from step 1-5 and your car made up its mind to continue overheating the more, just respect yourself and clear off the road. Pull over and park in a very safe place; preferably, under a shade. Don’t forget to use your c-caution. Open your bonnet to fasten the cooling.

6. Remember not to open the radiator cap immediately; this is for your own good.
If you try this, you might sustain a serious burn injury; maybe in your eyes or arm. Your engine has over boiled, just relax and allow it to cool down.
radiator cap

7. When the engine must have cooled down very well, open the radiator cap and add water if the coolant level is below normal. Give your radiator time to cool. Like 30-45 minutes. Don’t add very cold water to the radiator, use warm water. Using cold water might cause engine crack due to rapid change in temperature.

8. When you’ve observed from 1-7 and the overheating persists, have your car checked thoroughly to know what the problem is.

Smaller radiator, low speed radiator fan, low water/coolant level, leak in the cooling system, poorly maintained engine, bad thermostat, rusty radiator can all contribute to a car overheating.


Emeka is a Contributor at Autojosh. A graduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering with a B.Eng degree. Emeka is a car enthusiast who is interested in traveling, writing, movies and driving. He also loves drinking garri with cold water.

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