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Driving in Hot Weather

Updated on March 14, 2011

Inspecting the radiator fluid level and checking for leaks and seeing that the oil level is at its point is just not enough to save you headaches when driving in hot weather.

There’s quite a bit more that you should check in your vehicle when hot weather is just around the corner.

Check all hoses for any cracks or softer areas on the hose. This softer and weaker area is where the hose could burst.

Make sure all connections are tight and free of any leaks. Test the thermostat for correct operation. If it’s not kicking in and operating at the correct temperature it can result in overheating.

Inspect the fan belt for cracks and proper tension. Belt slip is a common cause of overheating.

Fan belts nowadays run power steering, air conditioning, alternator and water pump, so it takes a lot of stress. A visual inspection on this belt is important.

Follow and see if the belt has any cracks on the rubber and check belt tensioner and bearings.

If loss of coolant fluid has been a problem, check for water leakage on the water pump around the engine block.

Don’t turn off the engine when the temperature warning light goes on. If you are stuck in traffic, shift to neutral gear, and race the engine moderately for half a minute at two-minute intervals.

Shut off the air conditioner to avoid further overload of the engine. Turn on the heater for a few minutes.

It sounds crazy, but it will dissipate a lot of heat from the engine, you will just have to bear with the heat for a moment till the engine cools off a bit or get out your check book.

If the engine continues to overheat then drive the car off the road, raise the hood and turn off the engine after a minute of idling.

Wait at least half an hour before removing the radiator cap. Then with the help of a towel or rag unscrew it very slowly and carefully, keeping your face turned away from the radiator, just in case it’s still hot and spews coolant or vapors. If your car has a plastic see-through overflow tank, replace any loss of coolant.

Don’t touch the radiator because it will still be hot and if your adding water start the engine before, wait a minute then pour the water. If you replace coolant or water with a hot engine off, then you turn it on, it could burst your engine block because of the temperature differences.

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