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The 90's (and I am not talking about the musical era here) is already upon us.  And with the lack of vehicle maintenance being at an all-time high in combination with these early high temperatures, makes for a devastating arrangement to both you (your wallet) and your car.  The number 1 cause for being stranded on the side of the road is overheating (cooling system issues).  An overheated engine causes the most devastating of damages and many times shortens the life expectancy of the transmission.  Think of overheating as a heat stroke (or melt down) for your car.  None of us wants to be on the side of the road looking for help.

So, how will you know?  You may be forewarned at least three ways; there is steam billowing out from under your hood, the engine temperature and “Check Engine” light both pop on, or a “check gauges” light comes on to get you to take notice how HOT the engine is running. In any case, heed the warning!

None of us want to be on the side of the road, so we seek the nearest exit.  It’s this decision that puts our vehicle in harm’s way.  Today’s engines cannot tolerate the additional heat for any extended period of time.  Your first reaction SHUT IT DOWN A.S.A.P.  Most vehicles (but not all) have electric fans.  After shutting the engine off, turn the key back on to the running position (DO NOT RE START) so that the cooling fans will run.  This will help to cool the engine down quicker.  Worried about the battery?  Most healthy batteries can handle this without an issue.  In any case, I would rather replace a weak battery than a broken engine.

After your cooling system has been restored, make sure that your engine oil was serviced and the automatic transmission fluid flushed.  Like hair, these two oils have been singed and no longer offer you the best protection.

Have you ever been stranded by an overheated car?  Share your story with us.

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