Automotive Repair Blog: Tips, Facts, and Fixes

What to Do When Your Toyota Engine Overheats

There are several scenarios that Toyota drivers fear most, and one of them is engine overheating. If you catch steam spewing out of the car hood or a spiked temperature gauge, reaching “H”, it means that your car is overheating. It is very important that you be careful about what to do next.


Follow these steps below when your Toyota is overheating:

  • Turn On Your Heater - Switching the heater on may seem counterintuitive and weird at first, but your Toyota will draw some of the heat away from the engine. While this step does not solve all your problems, it can reduce the strain put on your vehicle’s cooling system until you are able to pull over to a safe location. You might notice the temperature gauge needle lowering slightly.
  • Pull Your Automobile Over - If your Toyota is still overheating, pull over to the side of the road (or another safe spot) and turn off the engine. Don’t forget to switch your emergency lights on to signal other drivers that you need to get out of traffic. Once your car is off, you can call for roadside assistance to get a tow to a trusted auto repair shop.
  • Wait for 15 Minutes to Open the Hood (Not Always Necessary) - If roadside assistance isn’t available, you should wait for at least 15 minutes before opening the hood of your Toyota. The coolant will be very hot, and you don’t want to accidentally spray yourself with steam or hot water.
  • Fill With Coolant - If you have coolant on hand, this step can be manageable on your own. Once you open the hood, make sure you have a pair of gloves on before touching the coolant cap. You can always reference the manual for the exact steps. Make sure to release any built-up pressure before fully opening the radiator cap. Slowly add the fluid and make sure the lid and hood are closed tightly.

The coolant that you’ve added can only get you so far. You may have a leak or other major problem that needs repairing. To prevent further engine damage, please be sure to bring your Toyota to the professionals at Pro Auto Care. We’re always happy to help – we welcome you to give us a call or visit today.