How to Replace a ThermostatYour vehicle is equipped with a thermostat. Much like the thermostat in your home, the thermostat is designed to maintain a set temperature. However, your car’s thermostat is specifically designed to maintain the engine temperature. It is part of the cooling system. Although its primary purpose is to maintain a set engine temperature, it is required for the proper operation of the vehicle’s heater and if the engine does not warm up to operating temperature or gets too hot, it will have an affect on drive ability. Certain sensors will not function properly if the engine isn’t running at a specific temperature range.The vehicle’s thermostat is also responsible for the heater that warms your vehicle. It forces coolant to reach temperatures up to 200 degrees F. Once it is fully open and allowing coolant to freely flow through the engine and radiator, it also flows through the heater core allowing heat to enter the vehicle.Like any mechanical device, over the years, the thermostat can become nonfunctional due to a weak spring or corrosion. If the thermostat is stuck in the closed position, coolant can not flow which will result in engine overheating, lack of heat in the passenger compartment, and drive ability problems. However, if the thermostat is stuck in the open position, chances are the engine will not reach operating temperatures in cold weather. Therefore, you may experience little to no heat in the vehicle and drivability issues.
Parts and Supplies Needed to Replace a Thermostat1. Coolant2. New Thermostat3. New Hose Clamps4. New Radiator Hose (optional)5. Protective Clothing6. Eye protection7. Shop ragsTools Needed to Complete this Job1. Screwdriver2. Pliers3. Large Drain Pan to Collect Used Coolant4. Large channel lock pliers5. Socket set6. Gasket scraper
Installation InstructionsStep 1. Install the new thermostat facing the same direction as the old one. NOTE: Make sure the thermostat is centered and if there is a recess, it sits firmly in it.Step 2. Place the new gasket or o-ring in position and install the thermostat housing. Tighten the bolts equally. Snug them first before the final torque for your vehicle is reached.Step 3. Reinstall the radiator hose, tighten the new clamps, and refill the radiator and overflow.Step 4. At this point, reconnect the negative battery terminal, and start the engine and turn the heater on high so air can escape from the system.Step 5. Replace the radiator cap once you are confident the coolant level is full, allow the engine to reach operating temperature, and check for leaks.
- This is a good time to replace radiator hoses and clamps.
- This is a good time to flush the cooling system.
- Never work on a the cooling system when it is hot.
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