If you have a new car, it helps if you know how to repair your vehicle. That way, if your car develops engine trouble on the road, you’ll know what to do.
With a little knowledge, you can perform quick troubleshooting procedures when your car breaks down. That’s cheaper than waiting for a mechanic or a tow truck to arrive. You don’t have to spend a huge amount of money just to hire a professional for a simple job you can do yourself, such as adjusting a few loose screws or cooling an overheating radiator.
As a beginner in auto repair, you must realize the importance of owning a basic service tool kit. This usually contains wrenches, screws and a jack. If your car stalls on the road, you will need these tools to fix it. Tools make auto repairs easier because they allow you to get to hard-to-reach areas.
For instance, what can be done about overheating? This is one of the most common problems during the summer season. It happens when the temperature of the coolant exceeds the normal operating temperature range of the engine.
Overheating has many causes. Idling under hot weather for prolonged periods can wreak havoc on the car’s cooling system, because the water pump doesn’t turn fast enough. Thus, the coolant is not circulated as it should be. Sometimes a leak may cause the coolant level to drop, causing the radiator to overheat.
To cool your car, follow these tips:
Turn off the air-conditioner (AC). If the car is not seriously overheating, this will reduce the engine’s temperature. The AC evaporator is located in front of the radiator, and it adds heat to the air going to your engine. The hotter the incoming air is, the less efficient the radiator will be.
Turn on your heater (set it on highest temperature setting with the blower on the highest setting). This will be uncomfortable for you, but it will cool the engine by transferring the heat to the air. Roll down the windows and remember how “hot” you’ll get if your engine has to be replaced because of your ignorance.
If you’re stuck in traffic, pull over and stop. Unless you’re moving, very little cool air reaches the radiator. Open the hood and let the engine cool off. This takes time, so be patient. Use the time to go get a jug of water or antifreeze.
Check the overflow tank coolant level. If it’s empty, the radiator is probably low on coolant.
Check the pressure of the system by wrapping a cloth around the upper radiator hose and squeezing it. If it’s still under pressure (hot) it will not squeeze easily. Wait until it does.
If the coolant is low, start the engine and slowly add water or coolant to fill it up. The engine must be running. Adding coolant to a warm engine can crack the block. By running the engine, the coolant keeps moving and reduces the chances of this type of damage occurring.