GMC Terrain: Vehicle Checks / Engine Overheating

The vehicle has an engine coolant temperature gauge on the instrument cluster and overheat messages in the Driver Information Center (DIC) to warn of engine overheating. See Engine Coolant Temperature Gauge.

The decision may be made not to lift the hood when the engine coolant temperature gauge is in the overheat zone or an engine overheat DIC message displays, but instead to get service help right away. See Roadside Assistance Program.

If the decision to lift the hood is made, make sure the vehicle is parked on a level surface. Then check to see if the engine cooling fan(s) are running. If the engine is overheating, the fan(s) should be running. If they are not, do not continue to run the engine, and have the vehicle serviced.

Caution

Do not run the engine if there is a leak in the engine cooling system. This can cause a loss of all coolant and can damage the system and vehicle. Have any leaks fixed right away.

If Steam Is Coming from the Engine Compartment

Warning

Steam and scalding liquids from a hot cooling system are under pressure. Turning the pressure cap, even a little, can cause them to come out at high speed and you could be burned. Never turn the cap when the cooling system, including the pressure cap, is hot. Wait for the cooling system and pressure cap to cool.

If No Steam Is Coming from the Engine Compartment

If the engine coolant temperature gauge is in the overheat zone or an engine overheat DIC message is displayed but no steam can be seen or heard, the problem may not be too serious. Sometimes the engine can get a little too hot when the vehicle:

  • Climbs a long hill on a hot day
  • Stops after high-speed driving
  • Idles for long periods in traffic
  • Tows a trailer

If the engine coolant temperature gauge is in the overheat zone and an overheat DIC message is displayed with no sign of steam:

  1. Turn the air conditioning off.
  2. Turn the heater on to the highest temperature and to the highest fan speed. Open the windows as necessary.
  3. When it is safe to do so, pull off the road, shift to P (Park) or N (Neutral), and let the engine idle.

If the engine coolant temperature gauge is no longer in the overheat zone or an overheat DIC message no longer displays, the vehicle can be driven. Continue to drive the vehicle slowly for about 10 minutes. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. If the engine coolant temperature gauge does not go back to the overheat zone or an overheat DIC message does not display, continue to drive normally and have the cooling system checked for proper fill and function.

If the engine coolant temperature gauge is still in the overheat zone or an overheat DIC message still displays, pull over, stop, and park the vehicle right away. If overheat messages appear repeatedly, see your dealer.

If there is no sign of steam, idle the engine for three minutes while parked. If the engine coolant temperature gauge is still in the overheat zone or an overheat DIC message displays, turn off the engine until it cools down.

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