Minneapolis & Ham Lake, MN | (763) 257-3130


Extreme heat can take a toll on your car; that's why this post by Mike Ford Shop in Ham Lake will take you through the warning signs of an overheated engine and the steps to cool it down effectively.

Sunny, warm summer days are ideal for road trips. Whether you want to visit national parks, head to the beach, or visit family or friends in another state, one thing is for sure: you need to keep an eye on your vehicle's temperature to drive safely and avoid engine overheating. An engine temperature above 220 degrees Fahrenheit indicates overheating for most cars. Since your vehicle is built of materials that can melt and fluids that can evaporate, excessive heat can cause leaks through melted head gaskets and thickened engine oil, among other permanent and costly damage to your engine. As you might know, keeping up with your car maintenance is crucial to reducing the risk of overheating. Still, you never know when unexpected factors might raise the temperature under the hood; hence, you must learn to recognize the warning signs of an overheated engine and the safest way to deal with it. To help you in that department, this post by Mike Ford Shop has compiled helpful information on the matter.

Give your vehicle the top synthetic oil change in Ham Lake to keep it at peak level performance. To find the right formula for your engine, call Mike Ford Shop at (763) 257-3130 or browse AMSOIL's online store.

How to Tell if Your Engine is Overheating

Catching the first signs of overheating is key to taking immediate action before the temperature continues to rise and causes permanent damage to your engine; hence, keep an eye out for the following symptoms whenever you are behind the wheel:
  • Temperature gauge pointing to the red mark/temperature warning light on: Arguably, the easiest way to tell if your engine is overheating is to monitor the temperature gauge on your dashboard. Whereas some vehicles have a warning light that only illuminates when the temperature in the machine rises, others (most) have a temperature gauge with a needle that points to a red mark when the engine is overheating. Regardless of the type of gauge your car has, keep an eye on it whenever you are on the road.
  • Performance issues: In some cases, acceleration or ignition difficulties are due to overheating the engine; this is primarily related to how heat affects engine oil. When the temperature rises above 220 degrees, the oil thickens, thus decreasing its viscosity and ability to lubricate the engine effectively; as a result, friction increases and leads to performance issues under the hood.
  • Steam coming from underneath the hood: When the radiator malfunctions, coolant burns and goes up into the air in the form of smoke coming out of the hood area. To better understand this overheating warning sign, you need to know that coolant circulates through the engine absorbing excess heat; once its temperature rises above the operating range (220 degrees), the coolant flows into the radiator to cool down. If the radiator fails or wears out, the coolant inevitably burns and evaporates while overheating the engine.
  • Sweet, burn smell: Have you ever noticed a sweet, burnt smell coming from your engine? This strange whiff comes from the burnt coolant chemicals; hence, it is a clear sign of overheating.

The continued use of AMSOIL's Signature Series 5W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil provides your engine with top-tier protection against overheating and friction. To get familiar with the multiple benefits of switching to the top synthetic oil in Ham Lake, call Mike Ford Shop at (763) 257-3130 or visit AMSOIL's online store.

How to Deal With an Overheated Engine

Whether your vehicle's performance drops, you see steam coming out from under the hood, or your temperature gauge tells you that your engine is overheating, follow these precautions immediately to prevent the temperature from continuing to rise inside your engine:
  1. The first thing you should do is find a safe place to stop your vehicle. When doing so, be sure to leave your hazard lights on.
  2. Next up, wait around 15 to 30 minutes for the engine to cool down. While you wait, keep an eye on the temperature gauge, as this device will tell you when your engine has cooled down.
  3. Once the engine has cooled down, open the hood to check the cooling system with the help of your owner's manual. Check that the radiator fan has no visible problems; similarly, make sure the hoses are not clogged, and the water pump is not damaged. If something doesn't look right, you'll need a professional mechanic to look into the problem; hence, contact roadside assistance for help.
  4. If your cooling system doesn't show any visible problems, continue the inspection by checking the coolant levels. If the reservoir is empty, add fresh coolant. You can also add water in case there is no coolant.
  5. Finally, take your vehicle to the nearest garage to have a mechanic assess the issue. During the drive to the shop, keep an eye on the temperature gauge to respond quickly and stop your vehicle if the engine temperature starts to rise again.

Follow your vehicle's routine maintenance to minimize the chances of an overheated engine. Contact Mike Ford Shop at (763) 257-3130 and ask about the benefits of making the switch to the most reliable synthetic oil in Ham Lake. Don't forget to visit AMSOIL's online shop to place an order on top-quality formulas for your engine.