Engine Temperature Warning Light

Engine Temperature Warning Light

Did this light suddenly illuminate on your car’s dash?

This is one you don’t want to ignore and needs to be taken very seriously.

This temperature warning light indicates that your engine may be too hot for the vehicle to operate safely. This can happen from a lack of coolant in addition to other causes.

If you see your temperature gauge creeping up, or you get an engine overheating light glowing, immediately turn off your vehicle’s air conditioning. The AC system puts a lot of strain on your vehicle’s engine and can make added heat.  Another option is to turn on the heat to full blast. It can make for a brutal couple miles, but the heat transfer away from the motor can prove beneficial. Once that is done get to a safe spot and turn off your vehicle to avoid damage to the engine.

If you can pop the hood from the driver’s seat, do so — but don’t risk opening it by hand until the engine has fully cooled, especially if you see steam wafting off the engine. It typically takes nearly 30 minutes for an engine to cool. Once the engine has cooled, check the coolant tank. It’s usually a translucent plastic tank near the radiator. If the coolant tank is empty, you may have sprung a leak. Take a quick look under the car. If you notice a drip or puddle, chances are the coolant tank is leaking and it’s time to call for professional help. Engine overheating can cause major damage to your vehicle’s engine.

If the coolant tank is full, the problem may be electrical or mechanical in nature, in which case a tow to the nearest repair shop is definitely in order. A leaking hose, worn or broken fan belt, bad water pump, or malfunctioning thermostat may be the culprit.

If you find that your car often gets a little hot under the hood, it’s probably an indication of a larger problem, so consult your repair shop or trusted auto expert. Bellingham Automotive is here to help with all of your vehicle repair and maintenance needs. Also, remember we do offer 24-hr towing services to help you out when those unexpected vehicle emergencies arise.