What to do when your engine overheats on the road

When last did you have a look at your temperature gauge? Most vehicles nowadays are so refined that it’s hard to hear what’s going on with the engine. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or a sophisticated diva, this guide can save you a lot of trouble. Knowing how to cool your overheated engine is a skill every driver should have.

  • Stay calm and don’t panic


Don’t be alarmed if you see smoke coming from your engine, it’s usually not smoke, but rather steam coming from a really hot engine that doesn’t get enough coolant. Pull off onto a safe area on the side of the road, open your bonnet and wait for your engine to cool before adding coolant and water.


If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t stop or pull over then turn off the air conditioning and open the windows until you can stop the vehicle. This will putt less strain on the engine and help cool it down.

At the same time it helps to turn on the heater as it draws heat from the engine to heat the inside of your vehicle. This might leave you all hot and bothered, but at least your engine will be happier.


  • Don’t ride your brakes

If you are caught in slow moving traffic, try to idle your way along and slowly make your way rather than braking repeatedly, as brake drag increases the load on the engine. In a situation where you are bumper to bumper in traffic and your temperature gauge is rising, then shift into neutral and give a bit of gas. This will speed up the fans and the water pump and in turn, cool the engine down.


To prevent overheating it would be a good idea to always store extra water or coolant as a backup in your vehicle and keep a regular eye on your vehicle’s temperature gauge, as this is the way your vehicle communicates with you.

If you looking for a good deal in your area, then be sure to visit www.AutoMart.co.za.

Struan Langlands

Digital Marketing Channel Co-ordinator @ Junk Mail Publishing. My family, work, cars and sport are the 4 things that I am most passionate about and motivate me. I am a full blooded Petrol Head and always ready for a sport debate. "The day you think there is no improvements to be made is a sad one for any player." ~Lionel Messi

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