Your browser version is no longer supported, so you may experience issues while using this site.
Please upgrade to a current browser to enjoy the best experience.
Car safety: What to do if your car overheats
Anyone’s car can overheat at anytime, anywhere. Keep your cool by knowing the signs and how to respond.
Signs your car is overheating
Noticing the signs early can help you avoid a full breakdown or permanent engine damage. Things to look for include:
- steam coming from under your bonnet
- a strange smell coming from your car
- a warning from the engine temperature gauge on your dashboard (this is a little different in every car, so check your owner’s manual).
What to do if your car overheats
- Don’t ignore the signs. Doing so could lead to serious, potentially permanent, engine damage.
- Turn your air conditioner off. This reduces the stress on the engine and can buy you time to pull over somewhere safe.
- Don’t ride the brake. If you’re in traffic, crawl along slowly. Riding the brake can put more strain on your engine and make it heat up.
- Pull over. Turn your car off and let the engine cool down. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge, as it should move back to a normal range as the engine cools.
- Don’t open the bonnet. Doing so puts you at risk of burns or injuries from steam or smoke. Let your engine cool and leave it to the professionals.
Call for help with Apia Roadside Assistance
Car problems can happen any time, any day, anywhere. Apia Roadside Assistance aims to get you back on the road with a dedicated roadside service for your car — available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, Australia wide*.
Not an Apia customer and want to find out more?
Subscribe to our FREE Apia Good Life quarterly newsletter for information on our latest offers, stories and inspiration to keep living life at its best.
* Terms and conditions for coverage apply.
Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (Apia) ABN 14 099 650 996 AR 239591 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI), the issuer of Home, Landlord, Car, Caravan, Motorhome, Boat, Travel & Compulsory Third Party Personal Injury (CTP) Insurance.
Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. Apia Roadside Assist an optional cover only available in conjunction with Apia comprehensive car insurance. Limits, terms and conditions apply, see the PDS for details.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.
Health & Wellbeing
Community & Relationships
Finance & Career
Learning & Development
Holidays & Entertainment