Your Car’s Thermostat and Common Signs Showing it Needs a Replacement

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A thermostat is one of the most important components of a car’s engine. It controls the flow of coolant to keep the car’s temperature appropriate. If it fails, either stuck open or stuck closed, this can damage the vehicle’s engine.

How Do Thermostat Functions?

As mentioned above, the main purpose of a thermostat in a car’s engine is to control the flow of coolant to maintain the temperature of that vehicle. When you start your car and drive it a bit, the temperature will start rising a little, this will cause the thermostat to flow the coolant to keep the car’s temperature comfortable and prevent it from overheating. Therefore, a car’s thermostat must work fine.

If a thermostat is working well, it knows when to flow the coolant as it senses the engine’s temperature and understands how to maintain it. Commonly, when your car is driven, the thermostat keeps flowing the coolant into the engine as it’s required to cool the engine down continuously. This also increases the life of your engine and maintains its performance for a longer period.

Common Signs Showing That Your Car’s Thermostat Needs a Replacement

Few symptoms can tell that a car’s thermostat needs a replacement. If you observe these symptoms and still don’t get the thermostat changed, your vehicle’s engine could get damaged and dysfunctional. Below we’ll let you know these common signs.

1) Higher or lower temperature than usual

When a car’s engine is started, the temperature is at the cool level, but when you start driving it, the temperature rises to the mid of the gauge which is the operating level of any car’s engine. At this point, the thermostat starts its work and flows the coolant into the engine to prevent it from getting overheated. But if the thermostat isn’t working well, the gauge will continue to rise, showing that your car’s engine is getting hotter. Still, after this, if you continue to drive your car, this can hurt the engine, and you may suffer from a loss.

We suggest you always keep an eye on the temperature gauge, and if it shows a higher or lower level than usual, it’s necessary to get the thermostat checked by a good mechanic. You can also take your car to a service center to get it checked. It’s good to get your car checked by a car dealership. If you have a Toyota car, it’s recommended to get your car’s maintenance done from any authorized Toyota dealer in your town, such as Toyota Creek Motors.

2) Imbalanced air temperature

That’s another big symptom that the thermostat of a car is required to be changed if the temperature of your car is abruptly changing. It can suddenly get cool or warm if the thermostat isn’t working well.

3) Leakage of coolant

When a car’s thermostat is stuck close, the coolant remains inside it and doesn’t evaporate when the car’s engine gets hot. This causes the leakage of coolant, as the liquid overflows from the thermostat. Usually, you can easily check out if the coolant is leaking out from the thermostat or not. Just look below your car, and if you find any red or green colored liquid draining out from your car, that’s confirmation that the coolant is leaking.

4) Noises

As mentioned before, the function of a thermostat is to keep the temperature of your car normal. If the temperature isn’t normal, your car’s engine and radiator can get harmed, and hence you may hear some sort of strange sounds coming out from your car, such as boiling water or babbling sound. These types of sounds also indicate that the thermostat of the vehicle needs a replacement.

5) Abnormal cooling

If you’re someone who lives in cold areas where there’s usually cool climate and weather, you don’t need your car’s thermostat to release coolant in the engine. If it still flows the coolant, the engine gets cooler than the required temperature. This can stop and dysfunction it. So it’s very important that a vehicle’s thermostat must be stuck close in cold weather conditions.

These were some signs that indicate a bad thermostat. Below you’ll find some steps on how a thermostat is replaced.

Replacement of a vehicle’s thermostat

Step 1: Ensure safety

Ensuring safety is one of the most important factors to consider before working on any part of your car. So, if you’ve come from a long route, it’s very important to wait until the engine is completely cooled down and then start working.

Step 2: Remove the hose

After you’ve ensured your safety, the second step is to remove the hose in order to drain the coolant. Make sure to put a bucket down the place, so the coolant can fall into it instead of falling to the ground.

Step 3: Check thermostat’s position

If you’re replacing a thermostat on your own, it’s very important to check and note the correct position and how it’s installed in the engine to replace the new one in the same position.

Step 4: Take it out

Now, when you’ve checked everything, lose the bolts and take out the previous thermostat to install the new one.

Step 5: Clean the place

It’s good to clean the surface where the new thermostat is to be installed. So, after removing the old one, first, clean the place and then fit the new one.

Step 6: Check other parts

At the time of installing a new thermostat, it’s very important to check the other parts of your cooling system.

Step 7: Apply sealant

Some vehicle manufacturers recommend applying a sealant when installing a thermostat. We suggest you not apply too much sealant as it can compromise the correct installation of the thermostat.

Step 8: Tight the bolts

Now put the thermostat at the correct position and tighten the bolts properly and according to the instructions provided by the manufacturers.

Step 9: Attach the hose

After the thermostat is at its place, you can re-attach the hose from which it can flow the coolant in the engine.

Step 10: Inspect

When everything’s done, it’s suggested to inspect whether all is well or not. In your inspection, you must check the leakage of the coolant by looking below your car.


In sum, it’s important to understand how a thermostat works in order to identify the signs that show it needs a replacement. It’s always suggested to get it replaced from an authorized dealership from professionally trained staff for quality services that improve your vehicle’s longevity.

Author Bio:Kamil Riaz Kara is a content contributor at Mainstream Pakistan and associated with digital marketing since 2015. Presently working at Digital Eggheads, a digital marketing agency in Pakistan

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