Is Your Truck Overheating? 3 Ways To Tell

Posted on: 20 September 2015


When your truck overheats, it is important that you pull over right away. Many people make the mistake of driving all the way home or to their mechanic, but unless you're around the corner, this can be very dangerous. The best thing you can do is pull over and call a tow truck. Before you do that, you need to know if and when your truck is overheating. Here are some common signs that this is occurring.

The Temperature is Rising

If you suspect that your truck is overheating, the first thing you should do is look at the temperature gauge. This can tell you whether or not it is operating at a normal temperature. If the temperature is usually around the middle mark, but it looks like it is higher than the middle and slowly climbing, it might be overheating. Depending on the type of gauge your truck has, it might just show small dashes to indicate the level of the temperature, an H for hot and C for cold, or blue and red marks for cold and hot. When the temperature starts to rise, don't take any chances. Pull over when it is safe to do so.

There is Smoke

Any time you have smoke coming out of your truck, whether it is from the exhaust or the hood, it is usually a warning sign that there is something wrong. However, there are different types of smoke, including some that looks like smoke but is actually steam. For example, if you are driving your truck in the early morning when it is cold out, you might see some steam come out from your exhaust. This is due to the temperature. Once your truck heats up to a normal temperature, the steam will dissipate. However, if you see a large cloud of white smoke or gray smoke billow out of the exhaust, it could be a sign of overheating and a reason to pull over immediately. Also pull over any time you see smoke coming out of the hood, as this could be from overheating or another problem.

Coolant is Leaking

When coolant or antifreeze leaks from your car, it could lead to overheating since the coolant is meant to help your truck maintain normal operating temperature. In most cases, you will only notice it when the truck is parked. It looks like a bright green fluid. However, if you are are stopped at a light and when you accelerate, look in your rear view mirror and see a puddle of fluid where your truck was just sitting, the fluid is leaking. This combined with a high temperature gauge or smoke is a good sign that you are overheating and need to pull over.

If you show any signs of overheating, pull your truck over and call for a truck towing. If you smell gas while overheating, get out of the truck and walk a safe distance away just in case you are dealing with combustion.