QFES, Rural Fire Brigade, Fire Brigade, Emergency Services
Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
QFES, Rural Fire Brigade, Fire Brigade, Emergency Services Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

Cars feel heatwave too

ON FRIDAY morning a truck's engine started smoking while the vehicle was travelling on the Cunningham Hwy, and in the past fortnight RACQ has responded to two overheated cars.

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said an overheated engine could be hazardous as well as a hassle.

"Prevention is better than cure so regular checks of your car's cooling system by your mechanic and proper servicing will reduce the risk of overheating,” she said.

"A regular check of engine oil level and radiator coolant (check when engine is cold) is also advisable.

"Motorists should also keep an eye on their car's temperature gauge and dashboard warning lights during their trip.”

If drivers find themselves on the road with a higher-than-normal reading on the temperature gauge, or steam coming from under the bonnet, their best option is to pull over safely.

"Continuing to drive, even for a short distance, could greatly increase damage,” she said.

"It's important that you call for roadside assistance (not emergency services 000) rather than attempting to fix the problem as you could do more harm than good to both yourself and your engine.

"Don't remove the radiator cap from a hot engine or attempt to add water.”

As for the worst-case scenario of a car fire, Ms Ritchie advises to get out of the car and call 000 immediately.

"Car fires are usually caused by oil and fuel leaks or electrical problems, not overheating engines. In the rare event that an engine does catch fire, get the occupants out of the vehicle and to a safe place quickly,” she said.

"Call the fire brigade straight away and don't attempt to extinguish an engine fire yourself as opening the bonnet can cause the fire to flare.”



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