What is a Thermostat? If you’re in a house, it is that little white box on the wall that keeps the house warmer or colder. But it is also a unique small valve in your car’s engine that accomplishes the same thing for your car’s engine. What are the signs you should look for to let you know that it is time for a thermostat replacement.
Time for a physics lesson
As most of us know, water boils at about 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The engine in your car produces heat when it is operating. Water is used inside the engine to help keep it cool. And that water can get a lot hotter than 212 degrees. When water gets really hot, it turns into steam, which is not an effective way to cool your car’s engine.
Function of the cooling system
To control the amount of heat produced from the engine, the cooling system uses a water based coolant in a closed loop system. Most car engines have a closed cooling system that helps reduce the engine temperatures so that the engine is not damaged by getting too hot.
Parts of the cooling system
There are a number of different parts in this cooling system. The major one is called the radiator which is generally located at the front of the vehicle. This is a rectangular looking part that made out of aluminum and plastic and has fins on it to allow air to flow thru the radiator. Rubber hoses and other pipes coming out of it connect back to the engine. The hot water flows thru the radiator and is cooled from air going thru its core and reduces the temperature of the hot water from the engine. This water flow is all accomplished by the water pump that is attached inside of the engine.
Function of the Thermostat
In this closed cooling system is a device called a Thermostat. The Thermostat is very important and a very unique device. It is a valve that opens and closes depending on the temperature of the coolant water. It helps regulate the amount of water that flows thru the radiator to maintain the proper engine temperature. If the coolant is too cold, the engine does not operate economically and wastes fuel. If the coolant is too hot, the engine can overheat and not operate at all and damage other parts of the engine. Some newer vehicles have more than one thermostat in the cooling system. Generally this is for the different temperatures inside the passenger areas of the vehicle.
How to know if you need a thermostat replacement
- Engine overheating, hot radiator
- Engine under heating, poor acceleration, engine performance
- Temperature gauge fluctuations
What we do to diagnose and repair
- Pressure Test and inspect cooling system for leaks.
- Replace Thermostat
- Fill with new coolant and bleed system
- Install new Reservoir or Radiator Cap as required
- Clear related engine codes
It’s generally recommended by your vehicle manufacturing specifications to have the engine coolant replaced every four years. Make an appointment to have your car inspected today so we can keep your cooling system operating effectively.