How to Prevent a Roadside Breakdown

How to Prevent a Roadside Breakdown

| By: Ed Carey, Christian Brothers Automotive Round Rock

As the sun swelters down this August, the place no one wants to be is on the side of I-35 with a smoking car and little idea as to what the problem is. We’ve all been there in some way, breaking out a sweat, unsure of what got us there… Who do I call? What do I do? Will my car be okay? Did I neglect a warning sign that got me here? How much is this going to cost me?

At Christian Brothers Round Rock, we want to do all we can to help you avoid these unnecessary and stressful situations. As temperatures continue to rise, keep these tips in mind to ensure your car’s temperature doesn’t rise and ruin your vacation funds along with it.

Why Do Cars Overheat?

The main cause of a sudden breakdown is an overheated engine. There’s nothing more stressful than realizing the temperature needle has suddenly hit the red zone or seeing smoke slowly billowing from your hood. It can mean being stranded on the side of the road for hours, giving you plenty of time to wonder about both your car and your bank account. Typically, this happens because something is preventing the engine coolant from doing its job, which is to release heat away from the engine, maintaining low heat levels.

There are many reasons for this, such as a leak in the cooling system, having used the wrong type of coolant or not enough, radiator problems, a buildup of grime or dirt on your coolant hose, or even a blocked hose. This is rarely ever a minor issue, which is why we want to make sure you feel confident and educated before you take off on your last summer vacation.

Tips to Prevent Overheating

Commit to Scheduled Maintenance

The most important step to ensure the longevity of your vehicle is to keep your car’s scheduled maintenance appointments. Cars, like human beings, need to go in for check-ups regularly to ensure they remain in good condition and always keep you moving safely. Our ASE-certified mechanics will thoroughly check your engine, hoses, and radiator for any grime or ongoing issues. While you’re here, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions, no matter how trivial they may seem. We want you to be knowledgeable about what your car may need, rather than be burdened by a failing vehicle.

Check Engine Coolant Levels

Secondly, keep an eye on your engine coolant and ensure it’s filled to the correct level with the right product. It’s a good idea to know the basic features of your car so that you’re able to keep it healthy and running for as long as possible. Before a big trip, create a habit of checking your oil levels and tire pressure, as these are other things that can derail your adventures. Stop by for one of our courtesy checks as part of your pre-vacation routine for an extra level of assurance. Our ASE-certified mechanics can help you identify any issues so that you always feel confident you’re caring for your engine.

Pull Over Quickly and Safely

Lastly, if you find yourself in an overheated car, always pull over as quickly and safely as possible. Continuing to drive a car that is showing signs of overheating may cause irreplaceable damage to your engine and create a much bigger and more costly problem. If you're not sure what’s happening with your car, give us a call so we can help you figure out next steps to keep you and your car safe.

Whether it’s dealing with the Texas heat, gearing up for a road trip, or tackling your back-to-school driving routine, we want your car to keep up with all you have planned. Stop by today or simply schedule an appointment online to ensure smooth travels to end your summer. We look forward to hearing from you!

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