John Linden: Hi! I'm John Linden, Master ASE Certified Technician and North America Training Manager for Midas International Corporation. Today I would like to talk to you about what to do if your temperature gauge indicates that the engine is running hot.
While you are driving if you notice that the temperature gauge starts to rise towards the top of its range or the temperature light comes on, this could be an indication that you're extremely low on cooling. Pull over when it is safe to do so. Never attempt to remove the radiator cap or reservoir cap while the engine is hot.
Once you stop the engine, the cooling temperature has a tendency to continue to rise and the pressure increases. Try to remove the radiator or reservoir cap while the engine is hot can cause severe injury. If you've a severe leak, you should be able to see it. If this is the case have your vehicle toed.
If you do not see a leak in the coolant level and the reservoir is normal, you may be able to drive a short distance to a repair facility. Remember, overheating is not normal and it does not fix itself. So no matter what, you need to find out what caused it. Now you know what to do next time your car overheats.