Should You Turn On the Heater When Your Engine Overheats?

Automobiles nowadays are equipped with high-tech and powerful heating and cooling systems that can keep your engine from overheating in the hottest of summers. However, your vehicle can still overheat from failures of the vital components. Your car can overheat for the following reasons:

  • Faulty radiator fan
  • Low/leaky coolant fluid
  • Bad gasket
  • Broken water pump
  • Issues with belts and hoses
  • Malfunctioning thermostat
  • Low engine oil
  • … and more. 

Understanding all the ways your engine can overheat can help you minimize the likelihood of engine damage later on. You and your trusted automotive technician can come up with a maintenance plan that works for you and your vehicle to prevent engine overheating. Otherwise, a hot engine can cause irreversible engine damage and an inconvenient breakdown.

What to Do When Your Engine Overheats While Driving

You can tell when your engine overheats when the temperature gauge is reading high, your car is releasing steam under the hood, and your vehicle is giving off a sweet or burning smell. You may also notice a flashing warning light on your dash when your engine is in trouble.


If you’re one of the unfortunate people who experience engine overheating while driving, you should immediately stop driving. Please pull over to a safe spot, away from traffic, as soon as you can. In the meantime, you should reach for your car heater. Sounds crazy right? However, the heater can draw the excess heat away from the engine coolant for the time being. When you are parked, please be sure to turn off your engine and let it cool down.


Turning your car heater can seem to contradict the entire process, but it works. Just make sure to roll down those windows to prevent a hot and stuffy cabin. While the heater may temporarily relieve your vehicle from the stress, you should get repairs done as soon as possible. 


At Parker’s Tire & Auto Service, we can prevent devastating engine overheating incidents by providing quality maintenance and repairs. If you need engine services or repairs, please call or visit our auto repair shop today.

3000 N Pine Ave Ocala, FL, 34475 (352) 732-0786
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