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5 things your engine is telling you (and why you should listen)

5 things your engine is telling you (and why you should listen)

04 Top up my coolant

Your engine running hot and cutting out completely means your coolant is low or completely empty. Find out which coolant is required for your engine and top it up, keeping the level between the MIN and MAX marks on the expansion tank. 

If your coolant is completely empty, you have a leak - either a pipe has split, detached or the radiator has burst. 

Check all pipework and fill the radiator and look for fluid escaping.

Running a car with little or no coolant will lead to cylinder head gasket failure – see below.

05 Change my head gasket

The end result of your engine running hot and cutting out is the engine's head gasket failing. 

If your car is blowing lots of white smoke from the exhaust and overheating, open your oil cap and if the is a gloopy, mayonnaise-like substance there then your head gasket needs replaced. 

This is a simpler job than you think, but it's a scary one for novice home mechanics because it involves removing the cylinder head and skimming it. 

Your Haynes manual will take you through the process and the tools you require but make sure that you spot it early because repeated driving with an engine whose head gasket is damaged will lead to catastrophic engine failure.