Fareed's Auto Service Blog: Tips, Advice and More

Hello and welcome! My name is Fareed, and this blog is about car repair. I plan to write about smash repair, body work, painting and other aspects of the industry. I also hope to include a few posts that will help you assess whether or not something is wrong with your car. I have worked on my own car for years, and recently, I've been embraced as the neighbourhood mechanic -- all my friends come to me for help. I'm not a professional mechanic, but I feel confident sharing this info with you as I've been working on cars for years. I am happy you found my blog and hope that you enjoy reading!

Five Tips for Investigating and Troubleshooting Thermostat Damage in Your Car's Cooling System


Your car's thermostat measures the temperature of your coolant. If it senses the coolant is cool, it sends it back through your engine, but if it senses that it's too hot, it directs it to your radiator so that it can be cooled before it goes back to your engine.

Your thermostat is a critical part of your car's cooling system, and if it isn't working correctly, it can lead to damage with your radiator or your engine. Wondering if your thermostat is working correctly? Here are five things you need to do if you suspect that you have an issue with your thermostat:

1. Watch your engine's temperature gauge.

Cars have a gauge that tells the drive how hot or cold the engine is. If your gauge is constantly reading high or low, that is a sign that something is wrong in your cooling system. In some cases, that means that the radiator isn't working correctly, but in other cases, it signals that an ancillary part like your thermostat isn't working. To determine if it's the latter, you need to lift the hood and take a look.

2. Find your thermostat.

To find your thermostat, lift the bonnet of your car, find your radiator, and then find the hose between your radiator and your engine. The thermostat is located at one end of that hose.

Although there are different models of thermostats for different cars, most of them have the same look. They have a dome on the top with a small piece of metal in its center. That may have a coil around it, and it leads to a valve surrounded by a seal. Like an iceberg, the remainder of the thermostat is hidden out of view beneath the seal. Luckily, you can tell a lot from its visible parts if you know what you're looking for.

3. Look for rust and corrosion.

Before doing anything, visually look over your thermostat for rust or corrosion. If you see rust, it may signify that you are using the wrong type of coolant and that may be causing your thermostat to function incorrectly. In other cases, if you have used multiple kinds of coolant in the past, they may have mixed and caused a chemical reaction, leading to rust on the thermostat.

To rule out this culprit, you need to flush out the coolant currently in your cooling system and add new coolant. Make sure you use the type of coolant recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. If the new coolant doesn't stop your engine from overheating, you need to investigate further.

4. Check the thermostat housing for damage.

Your thermostat is held in place by a piece of plastic called its housing. Ideally, the housing should be clear and clean. However, in some cases, there may be evidence of coolant on your housing. This could take the form of old drips or bleed marks.

This is a sign that your thermostat is installed incorrectly or that it is not sealed right. To address this, remove the thermostat. Look over the housing for damage such as cracks, and make sure that the seals are in working order. Then, reinstall everything. If your thermostat uses liquid sealant, re-apply that when you reinstall your thermostat.

If you aren't experienced in car repairs, you may want to consult with an expert in cooling systems to ensure everything is installed correctly.

5. Replace the thermostat.

If changing the coolant and reinstalling the thermostat don't help, it's time to consider a new thermostat. Luckily, thermostats are relatively inexpensive, and you don't need a large budget to attempt this repair. In fact, $65 is considered expensive for a thermostat -- that's the price for a late model BMW thermostat -- and in most cases, you can expect to spend less than that.

Install the new thermostat and watch the engine's temperature gauge. If it stays in the safe range, the thermostat was the issue, and you've fixed it. If the gauge still reads high or low, it's time to seek professional help from a car radiator repairs and cooling expert.  


29 April 2016