As the hotter months roll in, or as your car ages, cooling efficiency tends to take a hit. Ambient temperatures and aging engine aside, you need to make sure that your car is in tip-top shape and keep your maintenance in check regardless of if you’re experiencing problems or not. For that, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to keep your car from overheating and leaving you stranded by the side of the road.
Check your cooling system
Always attend to your car’s maintenance. Do not skip out on checking the state of your car’s cooling system. Make sure there are no leaks and make sure your coolant levels are topped up. Also, make sure your car’s fans are working properly, as they are in charge of running air through the radiator if ever you’re brought to a stop. Also, make sure that you have your thermostat checked. This sensor tells your cooling system to turn on the fans and run the system harder, which is especially important when you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Make sure your radiator is also in good condition, without any dings or blockages that may impede airflow.
Upgrade your cooling system
If your cooling system is in good condition, and you’re still overheating, perhaps upgrading your system is a route that you can take. Get a different rad cap, or add certain coolant additives that will allow your cooling system to perform more efficiently. You may even get a different radiator that is bigger or features a different flow.
Use proper coolant
Do not skimp out on coolant when filling your radiator. Coolant is essential and will keep your car from overheating. Most people tend to forget this important fluid in their system, so much so that the reservoir dips below the recommended level because of evaporation or leaking.
You may also fill it up with the wrong type of water or coolant. For best results, make sure to get the right kind of coolant for your car. There are many types that you can get, but generally, and for convenience, you want a premix so you can simply fill up your radiator.
However, do note that if you buy concentrate, make sure to dilute it with distilled water. If your coolant level dips, you only fill it with distilled water. Do not use purified, mineral, or tap water, as they can cause your car’s radiator to corrode.
Easy on the throttle
Don’t stress out your car as much. Go easy on the gas especially if you’re approaching a traffic light or you know that you will be stuck in traffic. Don’t overrev your engine when setting off as well, because putting unnecessary load on your car will produce heat. Don’t bring your car up all the way to the red line, instead, leave it in drive or eco mode, and don’t press on the accelerator too much.
Get more airflow
If you notice, your car’s radiator fans turn on when you’re stopped. This is to make sure that your radiator gets air flowing through it to cool the coolant. That being said, driving your car on the open road at a reasonable speed will make sure that enough air is going through. The most common reason for overheating the lack of airflow and a faulty cooling system. That’s why quite a few cars end up with problems on the side of high-traffic roads.
If you can find a route that doesn’t involve you trudging through bumper-to-bumper traffic, that will be better for your car in the long run. Regardless of if you’re in the city or on the highway, without traffic, your cooling system will thank you, just don’t wring the engine out all the way to redline.