When your car overheats, it’s the result of a failure with the vehicle’s cooling system. The cooling system is an integral part of your vehicle, as it keeps the engine at the temperature it needs to be for optimal performance: neither too hot nor too cold. The way the cooling system does this is by circulating a specially formulated liquid called coolant or antifreeze, mixed with water, through the engine. The heat that is generated by the engine is then transferred to the radiator, where it is cooled. This is a continual process, and if there is a problem anywhere within the system, that is when you may find yourself on the side of the road with steam coming out of the hood of your vehicle.
There are some important steps you can take to keep your car from overheating. First of all, you can make sure your vehicle has adequate levels of coolant at all times. A low coolant level is probably the most common reason a vehicle will overheat. You can check the coolant level of your vehicle yourself by looking at how much fluid is in the overflow reservoir. If levels are low, you can add more coolant, using the markings or notches in the reservoir as a guide to tell you how much to add.
Another way to avoid overheating is to bring your vehicle into a San Diego mechanic for a regular cooling flush. This should be done about every two years, or every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific make and model. When a mechanic conducts a cooling flush, the old fluid is cleaned out and replaced. This is important to do regularly, as coolant helps to prevent corrosion and rust from building up in your radiator.
If you’ve checked the coolant levels in your vehicle and have had regular cooling flushes, and your vehicle is still overheating, bring it in to a local mechanic. There are several other issues that could be causing the problem, including a broken cooling fan or fan belt, or a clogged radiator.
There are many San Diego mechanics that can diagnose and fix any problems with your vehicle’s cooling system, as well as any other problems you have with your car or truck. See our directory of San Diego auto mechanics for some good options.