How can you tell if your car needs a new thermostat?

Are there any good ways to tell if my car needs a new thermostat? The temperature control is all off and a friend of mine said it might be related to the thermostat. I’ve also heard the thermostat helps the engine work, so I’d like to get it fixed as soon as possible if it’s broken.

Joshua Levy · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
If your car is having mechanical trouble, it’s always best to get it checked quickly. Plus, you’re right! The thermostat controls the flow of coolant in your engine, and a faulty one can cause your engine to overheat. If you notice any of these telltale signs, your car may need a new thermostat:
  • The temperature gauge says the engine is very hot or cold.
  • The engine tends to overheat.
  • The temperature in your car often changes drastically.
  • You have coolant leaking under the car.
Your thermostat regulates the temperature in your engine, which means your engine will overheat without it. If you notice any of those signs, bring your car to a professional and let them handle it. While thermostats are easy to change, their breaking may be a symptom of more serious issues like heavy corrosion—which
your mechanic
is better equipped to spot.
Plus, an overheating engine could leave you stranded on the road! To avoid mechanical breakdowns and stay as safe as possible, leave this one to the professionals. If you can’t get it fixed straight away, make sure you’re covered with
’s roadside assistance.
The Jerry app’s leading roadside assistance connects you with their nationwide network of over 55,000 providers. Membership includes services like towing, key replacements, jump starts, and lockout services—all for as low as $50 a year!
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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