How to Cool an Overheated Engine

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Cool an overheated engine by pulling the car over, popping the hood, turning the car off and letting the engine sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Avoid taking the radiator cap off of an overheating engine or driving with an overheated engine, using advice from a certified mechanic in this free video on auto repair.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Good afternoon, my name is Tom Brintzenhofe, certified master mechanic from Redding, Pennsylvania and today I'm going to briefly talk about how to cool an overheating engine. Now unfortunately if you're stuck along the road and your car is overheated, you really can't do too much but allow the cooling process to take effect by itself. The one thing you got to remember if it is overheated, do not take this radiator cap off till it's fully cooled down. The best thing you can do is pull over, pop the hood, shut the engine down, let it sit 15, 20 minutes, sometimes it might take up to a half hour to let it cool down. It might even take longer than that depending on the extent of how much it overheated. But once it cools down, you can put your hand on it, it's not going to be too hot, you can put your hand on it, it doesn't burn your hand, just be careful you don't burn your hand. But once you get it all cooled off, put your hand on your radiator cap, if it's nice and cool you just want to crack it a little bit, you'll hear it hissing out if it's under a lot of pressure, but if you can move your cap around pretty loosely and it's not coming out, take your cap off. Make sure your radiator is nice and full. If it is still full and it's overheating on you, the last thing you want to do is continue driving it. I would recommend get a to truck out there, pick it up and take it to where you're ever going to work on garage or at your house or whatnot, but if it continue to overheat, the last thing you want to do is drive it and damage your engine. But the easiest way to cool an engine off, pull it over, shut it down, open your hood and let it sit for a half hour, 45 minutes and let it cool down by itself.


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