Imagine you are driving on a newly cemented, broad highway, your foot on the gas pedal revving up the engine, the hood of your car is down, and the cool breeze is dreamily caressing your face. And you think what a lovely day it is; nothing can go wrong. But your happiness turns out to be fleeting as a cloud because your engine begins to heat up, and you see the needle on the temperature gauge sidling towards the harrowing H. Your excitement nosedives and panic starts to set in as you wonder what you should do miles away from the mainland.

If you are a seasoned driver, then chances are you are all too familiar with the scene described above, but if you are a beginner, then you might not have encountered an angry engine yet (because you will, it’s practically a rite of passage for everyone who takes the wheel). Getting stuck in an overheated car in the middle of nowhere, while ridiculously common, can be unnerving even for the most experienced drivers, not to mention frustrating! But if you play by the book, you can efficiently deal with the situation without harming your pride and joy or (your) mental health.

SO, here’s what you need to do if your car’s engine decides to betray you in the middle of the road.

Turn the AC off and Switch up the heat.

The first thing you need to do when your vehicle heats up is to turn the ac off. Air conditioners release heat and in a car that goes towards the engine. Putting two and two together, releasing heat towards an already heated engine will hardly help matters. Therefore, switch off the AC and turn up the heat. Cranking up the heat inside your car will divert the heat from the engine, helping it to cool down a bit. Doing so might make you uncomfortable, but a little discomfort is a small price to pay for the heaps of money that you’ll be losing on engine repairs.

Check the Coolant

Many times, a low level of the car coolant is responsible for an overheated engine. Check if that’s the case but be careful when you open the hood to do that. If you are not cautious when checking the coolant, the hot steam from the seething engine can hit you in the face and damage your skin.

Now, if the quantity isn’t enough, top it off, but only if you have the right product. DON’T use water or any other unsuitable formula to top up the coolant.

Drive to a Safe Spot

If you are in the middle of the road and at the risk of getting in the way of oncoming traffic, move your car to a nearby empty lot. Park your vehicle away from the road and wait for roadside assistance if you have called them. And if you haven’t reached out to a credible towing company by this point, do so immediately and wait out till they come to get you.

Lastly, (and most importantly) don’t panic. We understand that you must be thinking, easier said than done, but that’s the only way you’ll be able to safely get through the distressing experience unscathed.