What to Do If Your Vehicle Overheats

April 16, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

Arizona can get very hot during the spring and summer, and this means your truck or RV’s engine can get even hotter. While driving to and fro, you’ll need to keep an eye on your temperature gauge to ensure your engine is distributing heat appropriately and isn’t overheating. If the temperature needle hits the red “danger” zone and stays there for too long, your vehicle might face some serious damage.

If your commercial vehicle overheats, it’s good to have a plan and know what to do to mitigate the problem. If you can’t fix the problem yourself, you might need to call a mobile mechanic in Flagstaff, AZ to help you out on the side of the road. With a little bit of help, you should be back on the road in no time.

Steps to handling overheating vehicles

If you’re driving along and notice your temperature gauge start to rise dramatically, the first thing you should do is turn off the air conditioner in the cab. Running the AC can put a lot of strain on your engine, so turning it off might be the quick fix you need.

If that doesn’t help, start blasting the heat in your truck. It may seem counterintuitive, but this will help transfer heat away from your engine, allowing it to cool off some more. If these two tricks don’t work, it’s time to pull over.

Once you’re in a safe space, always remember to use your hazard lights, then turn off the engine. You’ll want to wait a little bit for the engine to cool off before heading out to investigate the problem. Once the engine is cool, you can take a look under the hood.

First, check the coolant reservoir to make sure you have enough antifreeze to cool your engine down. If the coolant level is low, top it off with any extra coolant you have on hand. If you don’t have any, call a mobile mechanic in Flagstaff, AZ.

Once the coolant is refilled, you can try running the truck again, monitoring its temperature levels. If the engine begins to overheat again, pull over and call for roadside assistance. Your truck may have another issue with its mechanical or electrical system.

Common causes of overheating

There are a few common reasons commercial trucks overheat on the road. You should be able to test a few of these on your own. Otherwise, rely on the expertise of a mobile mechanic:

  • Low coolant or leak: Coolant, or antifreeze, is necessary in your truck to circulate through the systems and keep the temperature low. If you don’t have enough coolant, your truck might begin to overheat, but this can be fixed by adding more. If you find yourself refilling the coolant a lot, you probably have a leak in the radiator or a hose. These parts will usually need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Stuck thermostat: The thermostat that regulates your engine’s temperature can get stuck shut, open or partially closed. The incorrect operation of a broken thermostat might result in your engine overheating.
  • Debris blocking airflow: Another common cause of engine overheating is debris blocking the grille in front of the radiator. If debris gets in the way, your radiator won’t circulate air to remove excess heat. Check the grille for plastic bags, pieces of cardboard, trash or other debris and remove it.

If your truck is overheating on the road and you’re not sure how to fix it, call Maclin Truck & Trailer. We are a premier mobile mechanic in Flagstaff, AZ providing roadside repair and maintenance to commercial trucks, trailers and RVs. We can also tow your vehicle back to our auto shop for larger repairs. Call us today!

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