It’s summer, and the road seems hot enough to melt the tires right off of your car. Fortunately, you are sitting comfortably in the air-conditioned interior, so heat waves are no concern to you. This isn’t really the case, though. In fact, your car has to work hard in the summer heat. This makes it more prone to overheating, which can quickly damage or even destroy the engine.

The key is to prevent your engine from overheating in the first place. Proper maintenance and a little vigilance on your part is all it takes to keep your car running smoothly and coolly. Here are some tips:

• If you didn’t replace your old coolant with a fresh refill that meets your manufacturer’s specifications back in the spring, do it now.

• Follow your owner’s manual’s recommendations for oil change frequency. If you do your own oil changes, also take a look at your water system, visible hoses, and belts. Take an especially good look at your fan, since a faulty fan is a common cause of an overheating car. Follow up professionally if you see signs of wear or damage, or if your fan is slow to start or makes unusual sounds.

• Carry a jug of coolant and a jug of drinking water in your trunk. Both could come in handy if your temperature gauge or light signals a problem while you are on the road.

• Every two years, ask the professionals at City Garage DFW to check your cooling system. You should also have them check your radiator for corrosion or other potential problems. This is important preventive maintenance that can save you a lot of money on repairs in the future.

• Keep an eye on your temperature gauge. If your gauge strays into the danger zone or your overheating light comes on, pull over as soon as you can and turn your engine off. If possible, open the hood to help your engine cool but do not remove the radiator’s cap. Once the light goes off or the gauge reenters the safe zone, you can drive your car a few miles to the nearest City Garage DFW. However, you shouldn’t take it any farther until after you have had it professionally evaluated.

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