Imagine you're cruising along a winding road, bracketed by lush flora and trees as you roll along. Finally, seeing a glimpse of the countryside, you feel a sense of peace and calmness - the city bustle is far, far away.
But while you're dreaming of taking a pitstop to grab that skinny cappuccino you've been dreaming of for the past fifteen minutes, you notice that the temperature seems to be creeping up. Suddenly the idea of a hot pick-me-up turns into a desire for an iced latte, inside the air-conditioning roadside cafe and out of this overheating vehicle.
For Australians, travelling on the road also means tackling the harsh summer heat. No matter where you're located across the country, there's bound to be days where you have to tear yourself away from the air-con inside, and into your car where the cooling just doesn't quite cut it.
Luckily, there are a few ways to ensure you're keeping your vehicle as cool as possible, and keeping it away from the risk of overheating.
How to stop your car from overheating
Before you even jump into the driver's seat, there are some considerations that are crucial to ensuring your car stays out of harm's way. Firstly, taking preventative steps will keep your engine cool, and out of the mechanic. So here's where to start:
- Load up on coolant: Most of the time, the engine overheats because it's out of coolant. This is also known as antifreeze and keeps your system running at an efficient temperature. It's important you have the right balance of coolant mix and water with you (most local shops blend this for you), so you can easily top it off if your car needs it.
- Double-check the coolant: If you've got loads of it, great. But it needs to be fresh. Regularly replacing your coolant will ensure you keep flow at its best and prevent any possibility of corrosion.
- Check the drive belt: This is the pinnacle of your vehicle - as well as the water pump and alternator. You'll want to check that it's in good knick, and if you haven't had it serviced for a while, make sure you have a mechanical look for signs of general wear and tear before you head out. They usually have a lifespan of 80,000 - 100,000 kilometres.
- Unblock your radiator: Dirt, insects and debris can build up in your radiator and when it piles up, it blocks airflow to your cooling system. This can cause major issues, so clear it out thoroughly before you hit the road.
- Look at your radiator cap: It might look like a little lid, but really, this part has a huge job. It maintains the pressure on your overall system and stops it from overheating. It must remain in good shape to do its task properly, so keep this in check regularly.
If your car does happen to overheat, you'll need to pull over straight away. Don't risk causing further damage to the vehicle (or yourself). Instead, find a safe place to park and call the Gisborne District Towing team help you get to where you need to be.