1.If your coolant is leaking, you will have to continually replenish it. Pull into locations likely to have a water source that they won’t mind you using. Many service stations have water you can use.
2.Coolant filler pressure caps are failing by the thousands after 8 years of service costing thousands of dollars to be spent for unneeded repairs that don’t help.If your vehicle is eight years or older replace the cap before trouble starts! A vehicle that looses coolant when the engine is turned off very likely has a cap that is not holding the required pressure (most require 15 or 16 lb.)
3.If your engine is overheating due to excessive load (such as driving up a long, steep incline or pulling a heavy trailer) it is typically better to pull off to the side of the road, open the hood and wait. If you have a belt driven fan shift the transmission to neutral (or park) and rev the engine slightly (2500 to 3000 rpm). This will allow the cooling system to actively cool the engine while it is under no load and is more effective than shutting the engine off, which only allows heat to dissipate passively. However, if your engine is out of coolant then you should immediately turn the engine off and open the hood of the vehicle to allow the heat to dissipate.
4.Take your car to a mechanic ASAP. While the above steps are good when you’re in a pinch, they won’t help in the long run.
5.When possible use a proper water/antifreeze mixture in your vehicles’ cooling system. Water should only be used in emergencies, and after the cooling system problem solved have the system completely drained and refilled with the proper antifreeze water mixture.
6.If you have lost water pump belt, or water pump has failed internally you will be unable to continue driving without overheating even at cold weather, because coolant will boil at hot spots inside engine creating vapor that further promotes overheating.
7.If your car has electric radiator fans, you may be able to activate the electric fans with the engine off. With the car overheated, turn the ignition off (to stop the engine) and then back on without starting the engine. On some cars, the electric fans are wired to turn on even with the engine off.
8.If you have lost water pump belt or fan belt you may try replacing it with pantyhose. Wrap pantyhose around pulleys as many times as you can and tie it together. This contraption isn’t very durable but enough to drive few miles to auto shop or gas station. Avoid revving your engine too high to decrease stress put on temporary belt. This trick works also with alternator, but higher forces tend to wear out pantyhose faster.
9.In extreme cases, the engine may continue running after you turn the key to off. This is because the engine is so hot that it is auto-igniting even without the electric spark. In this situation put on the handbrake and then put the car into gear. This should cause the engine to stall.
10.If you are in slow-moving traffic, you can pop your hood. It will stay closed on the safety catch, but open a small gap, allowing greater ventilation (you’ll see cops and cab drivers do this in big cities on hot days). Be aware that going at higher speeds and hitting a bump may cause safety latch to fail and hood may open smashing into windshield.