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Lucille Treganowan's Tips to Keep Cars and Drivers From Boiling Over

17 August 1998

The Heat is On -- Tips to Keep Cars and Drivers From Boiling Over

    HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE FEATURES)--Aug. 17, 1998--Every month of the year thousands of cars have to pull over to the side of the road because of overheating. Here's a checklist and some tips from trusted care car authority, Lucille Treganowan, a no-nonsense grandmother who hosts a national television show, oversees two auto mechanic shops and is the author of a popular book on car repair.

    Prepare Your Vehicle

-- Examine radiator and heater hoses for signs of deterioration. This
    could be hardness with small cracks and formation of a whitish
    powder near the hose clamps, or a soft, squishy feel to the hose.
    Replace all hoses if you find a bad one.

-- Check condition and adjustment of belts. A loose belt can affect
    the efficiency of the water pump.

-- Check coolant level and add if necessary. If coolant is rusty or
    murky, have a cooling system flush at Jiffy Lube.

-- Have the radiator pressure cap tested. For every pound of pressure
    held by the cap, the boiling point of the coolant is raised two
    degrees. A bad cap can result in overheating.

-- With a soft brush and a garden hose, clean all the bugs and debris
    from the honeycomb part of the radiator.

-- Check the thermostat. Run the engine for ten to fifteen minutes,
    then feel the upper hose. You should be able to feel the warm
    coolant rushing through.

-- Clean the exterior of the engine. Accumulated oil and dirt will
    cause heat retention.

    If You Overheat On the Road

-- Turn off the air conditioner and open the windows. Without AC the
    engine won't work quite so hard.

-- When you come to a stop, give the engine a little acceleration --
    don't race it, just get it off idle. This will allow the water
    pump and fan to operate more effectively.

-- If the car is still running hot, turn on the heater. This allows
    the coolant to circulate in a larger area and will help lower the

-- If the gauge still shows too high a temperature or the red light is
    still on, pull off onto the side of the road and turn off the
    engine. Raise the hood so air can circulate.

    Because overheating can cause hoses to split and result in costly
    engine damage if you continue to drive, here are some tips to

-- Don't take the radiator cap off an overheated car. Cool it down

-- Carry a jug of water in your emergency kit in the trunk.

-- Antifreeze should be used in the cooling system all year round. In
    the winter it prevents freezing of the coolant and in the summer
    helps prevent boiling over.

-- Always check tire pressure when tire is cool.

    Treganowan is the spokesperson for Jiffy Lube International, which has sent her all over America to deliver car care advice.
    Jiffy Lube, which began in 1979, now has 1,560 centers in 48 states. For other helpful information about car care, you can visit the Web site at