How can you tell if your car is overheating without a gauge?

Is there any way to tell if your car is overheating without a gauge? My daughter drove home from work the other day and told me that the hood of her car was hot.

Telling whether your car is overheating without a gauge can be hard, but there are several warning signs. While none of these signs guarantee your car is overheating, any of them could be a symptom of a bigger problem.
Here are some of the most common signs that your car is overheating:
  • Hot hood. Feel the top of your hood. If hot, it could be the result of an overheated engine.
  • Ticking noise. Normally oil lubricates your moving engine pieces. The ticking sound could mean your oil is too hot and your car is overheating.
  • Leaking coolant. If you find coolant leaking from your car, it could mean that there’s not enough left to keep your car cool.
  • Hot smell. Overheated bits of rubber, plastic, and oil release an unpleasant but specific kind of smell. If something smells wrong, you should trust your nose and get your engine checked out.
  • Steam from the hood. Steam can be a sign that your engine is boiling coolant or other engine fluids.
  • Lower engine power. When your car overheats, it will stop performing at its best.
If you experience any of these signs, it may be worth getting your car checked out. While overheating can usually be easily solved, it can lead to other, more costly problems when left untreated.
If you have [mechanical breakdown insurance], your provider may even help cover the repairs.
If you don’t have breakdown insurance or would like to explore your options, try Jerry. A licensed broker, the Jerry app can help you find and compare quotes from top insurance companies in minutes!
Joshua Levy
Answered on Oct 20, 2021

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