There have been several reports this year of people being stranded on the side of the road or having to stop to make minor repairs to their vehicles, only to be struck by oncoming cars. One of the easiest ways to avoid these types of car accidents is not to be stranded in the first place. Overheating can cause your car to come to a sudden halt, but it is something that you can prevent.
1. Watch the Gauge
You may not pay attention to your dashboard until it lights up like an airport runway, but this is a mistake. Keep an eye on your temperature gauge during the hot months of summer. Your gauge will alert you to a possible problem with heat in your engine. Look in your owner’s manual or online to determine the normal needle position for your vehicle. If it starts to climb, you need to pull into your nearest service station.
2. Turn Off the Air
Turning off the air conditioning is the last thing you want to do, but it could be the first thing that prevents your engine from overheating. Turning off your air conditioning will ease up on the stress you are placing on your engine and possibly help it cool down.
3. Turn Up the Heater
You have zero desire to turn on your vehicle’s heater in the summer, but it can take the heat away from your engine. If you notice that the temperature gauge starts to climb higher, crank up the heat. It’s often the first step in preventing damage to your engine.
4. Step On the Gas
As soon as you are stopped in traffic, shift your gear to park or neutral. Step on the gas and rev the engine. This will speed the water pump and fan, allowing your radiator to work more efficiently, even if only for a moment.
5. Maintain a Steady Speed
Accelerating and braking, especially frequently, puts pressure on the engine. If you are in traffic, try to maintain a steady speed, even if it’s a slow one. This will allow your engine to operate at a regulated rate, reducing the strain it is experiencing and, ultimately, running cooler.
6. Pull Over
If you’ve followed the steps above and your engine is still overheating, you need to pull over. If you can get completely off the highway, do it. If you can’t, pull over to the shoulder and call for assistance. Running your vehicle when the engine is overheated can cause expensive damage.
If you are in a car accident in Charlotte and need assistance, our team of attorneys is here for you. Call today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and let us advise you of your legal options. You may be legally entitled to damages for medical bills, time off work and more. Reach out to our team or browse our website for more information about our firm.