What is a car thermostat replacement?

In this service, a mechanic will drain part of your coolant, replace your faulty thermostat gasket, and run the engine until they can confirm the thermostat is working properly.
Your car’s thermostat is a small valve within a cooling system tunnel that opens and closes in reaction to the temperature of the coolant; if it fails, it could indicate a greater problem.

How to replace your car thermostat

When replacing a car thermostat, a mechanic will normally execute the following steps:
  • Loosen the radiator cap and drain enough coolant to expose the thermostat housing (once the engine is completely cool)
  • Remove the thermostat housing to extract the thermostat and gasket
  • Clean the mounting surfaces on the thermostat of all old gasket material
  • Apply a new gasket and reinstall the thermostat in the correct position
  • Refill the cooling system with the appropriate amount of coolant
  • Run the engine and check the coolant levels to confirm there’s flow through the radiator
  • Finally, check the engine for leaks

How do I know if I need to get a car thermostat replacement?

Here are a few signs that you should replace your car thermostat:
  • Your temperature gauge is reading too low or too high
  • Your engine has overheated—your mechanic will usually inspect the thermostat as a source for the overheating
  • You’re undergoing other cooling system repairs—replacing your thermostat now can help prevent future breakdowns.

How important is replacing my car thermostat?

If a thermostat problem has been identified, it should be addressed as soon as possible. Failure to do so can result in serious and costly engine damage.
Whenever you have extensive maintenance done on the coolant system, the thermostat should be replaced. It is convenient and inexpensive during such repairs, and it serves as a preventative measure against future breakdowns.

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