Don’t’ Open The Radiator Cap of an Overheating Car

Be careful and stay safe. We hear many times when our friends get serious burn injuries from the hot water burst from the radiator opening and shot into the sky.

Why is the car overheating?

A coolant leak can occur when a foreign object is kicked up by the vehicle in front of you and penetrates the radiator. The resulting cascade of fluid will see your engine overheat, warp your heads, contaminate your oil, and leave you stranded.

Radiator Hose
As your car ages, the plastic and rubber hoses that feed the engine its vital fluids can snap and break. You may notice a few drops of coolant on the ground that turns into a flood. Likewise, a car’s hoses are clamped down by hose clamps, little metal circles that feature some type of device to sinch them tight. They too are subject to the inevitable maw of death.

This little part manages the flow of coolant from the radiator to and from the engine and can become stuck open or closed. Neither is a good thing for your engine and will cause it to overheat.

Head Gasket
In the automotive lexicon, “blown head gasket” is a phrase that is about as bad as it gets for the average consumer because it typically translates into many thousands of dollars in repairs, i.e. coolant gets into the combustion chambers, your engine and wallet explode.

Radiator Fan
All cars have radiator fans that assist in cooling the car’s coolant/antifreeze. If that goes out, it can’t cool the fluid and your car will overheat.

What should we do when the car is overheated?
There is no need to open the radiator cap, just park your car and shut off the engine and open the bonnet to let the hot air out and allow cooler air to circulate through the hot engine. You can also pour cool water around the radiator to help cool the parts down faster.