Lifting the hood while idling can help let off some engine heat to preserve operating temperature.
Summer is clearly upon us with most of the nation baking in a heat wave this week. Our local temperature Tuesday was 112. That's hot! Heat is very hard on engines. Idling is very hard on engines. Don't do it if possible! It's a toss-up between having your passenger get into a hot car or running the car to keep it cool, only to have the temperature spike one minute before your client comes out leaving the car dead. If you must idle, consider popping your hood to just the first level to allow more air to be circulated around the radiator. If you are driving and the temperature begins to spike, turn you’re A/C off and turn the heater on.
Yeah, you might sweat a little, but it will disperse some of the heat off the engine. Do not keep driving if the temperature rises on the engine as you can easily blow a head gasket and cause thousands of dollars in repair. The best solution for an overheated car is to shut it down until it cools off sufficiently to open the radiator and check the fluid level. By the way, make sure you do that during your pre-trip inspection as well.
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