Should You Turn on the Heat When Your Car is Overheating?

Engines can overheat for many different reasons. Unfortunately, you may not notice until the temperature meter points to the "H" as you're driving. You should pull over and turn off the engine whenever you encounter this situation. However, it may take you more than a second to find a safe spot to park. One trick you can use to minimize the damage is by turning on your car heater. 

Knowing the early signs of engine overheating can help you cool off your engine in time and minimize further damages. Some signs you should keep an eye on are:

  • Temperature gauge pointing to "H"
  • Steam and smoke coming from under the hood
  • Strange odors

What Happens When You Turn on the Heat?

Turning on your car's heater may seem strange, counter-intuitive even, but it actually does benefit you. Having the air conditioning on can further strain the engine, and it's best to turn on the heat to the highest possible setting. Doing so will draw the hot air from the engine to cool it down quicker. In some situations, this can be sufficient enough to stop the engine from overheating altogether. Nevertheless, it's still crucial that you bring your car to the experts at The Detroit Garage for an inspection.


This trick will help you get your vehicle somewhere safe, but it does not fix the underlying issue that caused the overheating to begin with. We highly urge you to get your car in for service as soon as you can. Waiting could strain the engine more, which could lead to more costly repairs down the road. If you require engine repair, please do not wait to give Detroit Garage a call or visit today.

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