Should You Be Worried When Your Engine Is Running Hot?

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The short answer: Yes.

Driving with an overheated engine can do irreparable damage to your car. When the vehicle’s engine overheats, driving – even just a few miles – can wreck the cylinder head, damage the engine block or harm other vital internal components of the car.

Always check the gauge on your vehicle to make sure your engine is running at a normal temperature. This is typically around 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, with the needle resting in the middle of the scale.

While on most cars a normal reading is with the gauge sitting in the center, some vehicles never get that hot. No need to worry, though. Just take note of what’s the normal temperature for your car after it’s fully warm. If the needle falls short of the middle, that’s OK too. Understanding your vehicle’s normal temperature will help you more easily identify when your car is running too hot or too cold.

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On scorching summer days, it’s important that you take extra care and caution when driving. Try to avoid running the air conditioning on high and cut down on extreme driving (like speeding up and slamming on the brakes) — both will increase the temperature of your engine. If your vehicle’s heat levels begin to spike, pull over and turn everything off to give your car a chance to cool down.

Although, if your gauge has consistently shown that your engine is running warmer than normal, bring your car into a mechanic right away. This could mean there’s a malfunction with the car’s cooling systems.

Every automobile uses coolant — a fluid that’s typically a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water that’s used to protect the engine from extreme heat and extreme cold. While coolant can last for several years, it does deteriorate over time which can cause corrosion in the vehicle’s cooling systems. Left unchecked and unfixed, corrosion can harm the radiator, the water pump and the thermostat.

And whenever a red or yellow engine warning light pops on, always take extra precaution and pull over, turn off the car and call for help.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when you’re at risk of having to replace the entire engine of your vehicle.

Whether you drive a German car — like a BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Audi — or a domestic automobile, at Mercedes Benz Werkstatt our technicians can diagnose and fix any issues with your vehicle thanks to their robust understanding of these systems. From basic preventative maintenance to more complex repairs, we confidently consider ourselves the foremost experts of foreign and domestic auto repair in Los Angeles.