Q: What do I do if the engine in my Honda Civic overheats?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What do I do if the engine in my Honda Civic overheats?

Overheating is a very serious situation. Too much heat could severely damage your engine. If the needle of your temperature gauge is pushing into the red, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Find a safe place to pull over.

  2. Put the car in park and set the parking brake.

  3. Cut off all of your accessories, including the air conditioner if it’s running.

  4. Turn on your hazard lights so you’re visible to other drivers.

  5. Check to see if you see steam coming from under the hood (with the engine running).

  6. If there’s no steam, open the hood. If there is steam, turn the engine off and wait for it to cool down.

  7. If the engine is still running, make sure the cooling fan is on as well. If it’s not, turn the engine off.

  8. Check to see if you can spot leaks from the hoses (if steam was visible) but don’t touch anything yet. It’s dangerously hot.

  9. After the engine has cooled down completely, check the level of coolant in the reservoir. If it’s empty, you’ll also need to check the radiator. Vent the radiator cap to let out any built up pressure, and then remove the cap to check the level of coolant (do not do this if the engine is still hot).

  10. If the radiator is low, top it off. Also top off the reservoir.

  11. Replace all caps.

  12. After refilling the coolant, crank the engine again. Let it run for a few minutes to see if the temperature gauge stays in the normal range. If it does, you can drive the car. If the gauge noses back into the red, cut the engine off and have the car towed.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Will remaining air bags deploy in my 2007 Honda Civic if half of them already have?

Hello. If the vehicle has not been repaired since the last accident then the remaining airbags will not deploy. Since the last deployment the airbag light should be on and there should be trouble codes within the control module. When...

Engine noise too loud in cabin

Hi there. It really depends on what the noise sounds like that would determine what is causing the noise. Over time, the sound insulation from doors will wear out and noises will become louder. However, if you're hearing a grinding...

How do you improve the fuel economy?

While your car is designed to get good fuel economy, there are several things that you can do on your own to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. Here’s how to make sure that you get...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Nissan Sentra
The The 2012 Nissan Sentra is one of the most versatile sedans in its class. Because it has such a wide variety of options available in its four trims, buyers can choose between a bare-bones version at a very affordable...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
The The 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a mid-size luxury SUV that combines utility and comfort to make the perfect every day vehicle. It can handle almost any terrain with its all-wheel drive model. Drivers and passengers will experience a quiet...
The 5 Safest Used Cars You Can Buy For Under $20,000
The Subaru Legacy, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Chevy Volt, and the Volvo XC60 are five of the overall safest used cars you can buy for under $20,000.