What to Do If Your Engine Overheats (Video)

In case you haven’t been lucky enough to own an old, falling-apart Plymouth Valiant, Esurance shows you what to do if your engine overheats.

Overheating car

When I was in college, I had a car.

More precisely, I had an awesome car. It was a 1963 Plymouth Valiant convertible — cherry red with a push-button transmission (I had to press a little button to change gears).

Originally my grandpa’s car, it had accumulated countless miles before I was even born … and then quite a few more during its trek from California to northern British Columbia (and back) before I’d reached the ripe old age of 5.

By the time I inherited the Red Bomber when I turned 16, it had already been my older brother’s first car, and all those “teenage” miles (along with the “grandpa” miles) were starting to show. In the winter, the roof leaked rain into the backseat. And in the summer, the Bomber tended to, well, bomb. A lot.

Making my way around Chico, California, during August typically involved blasting the heater until a balmy 110-degree day began to reach end-of-the-world temperatures in my drop-top ride. And when that didn’t keep the needle out of the red, I’d have to pull over, wait for the engine to cool, and add water to the radiator. Of course, this was also the time before teenagers came standard with smartphones.

Needless to say, I got pretty good at knowing what to do when a car engine overheats. But in case you haven’t been lucky enough to own a decrepit Plymouth, Esurance put together a how-to video just for you.


2 Responses to “What to Do If Your Engine Overheats (Video)”

  1. gordon
    July 10, 2013 #

    You forgot to instruct – turning the engine back on before refilling the reservoir, then waiting for it to warm enough to open the thermostat, at which point more fluid should be added. If the fluid loss is extreme, one reservoir fill will not get you to the mechanic.

  2. Rudy Koester
    July 14, 2013 #

    Unless you are a technician and can evaluate the problem competently yourself……….if your car starts to over heat, stop, call a tow truck, and don't drive it another inch. I am a Certified Master Engine Machinist with 25 years experience and have seen a minor problem go from an overheat to an engine rebuild in less than a mile. Filling with coolant and DRIVING to a repair shop is not an intelligent decision unless you can afford to risk destroying an engine.

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