How do I replace the thermostat in my car?

I just had a check engine light come on, and when I used my engine code scanner, it told me I have a bad thermostat. How do I replace the thermostat in my car? Is it difficult for someone who has done some DIY projects before?

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Answer provided by
Matt Terzi
Answered on May 06, 2022
We’re happy to hear when people are doing DIY car projects and enjoy them enough to want to do more! Depending on the make and model of your car and what other projects you’ve done, replacing your engine’s thermostat is usually pretty straightforward. Let’s dive right in!
  • First things first, you’ll need to locate the thermostat. In most cars, the thermostat will be located where the radiator hose connects to the engine. It’s usually the top hose, but some cars have it on the bottom hose.
  • Put down a pan or a bucket underneath the area where you’ll be working to catch coolant leaking out while you work. This job is easy, but it can get messy.
  • Unclamp the radiator hose. See? We told you this was messy.
  • Use a wrench to remove the two bolts holding the thermostat in place
  • Pull out the old thermostat and the gasket
  • Install the new thermostat and gasket, and put everything back together
  • Top off your coolant/ antifreeze
That’s all there is to this. It only takes maybe ten to fifteen minutes, or maybe longer if you’re having a difficult time finding it at first. And from there, you should be all set!
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