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How Much Is A Thermostat For A Vehicle? – Here’s What You Need To Know

Should I Change My Car's Thermostat

You know what a thermostat does in the normal world – it tells you the temperature so you don’t have to go outside unprepared. A car’s thermostat does sort of the same thing, except it is of huge importance, since the thermostat regulates the temperature of the cooling system, ensuring that overheating and friction does not occur in the system, damaging many parts and causing high repair costs.

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By ensuring the engine does not get too hot or too cold during use, it prevents any further problems with the engine – leading to an engine replacement and a high replacement cost. It also regulates the coolant flow, allowing the engine to get the right temperature before the coolant is added to the mix. 


The average cost for how much is a thermostat for a car is usually around $231 for a replacement cost. You will generally pay a range between $150 and $200 for the complete price, with the labor costing on average around $125, while the parts should be no more than $50 on average. This guide can give you an idea of the functions of a car thermostat, the replacement cost, and the answer to how much is a thermostat for a car?  

What is a car thermostat?


When determining how much is a thermostat for a car, you need to first know what it is. A car’s thermostat is the mechanism in the cooling system that is in charge of two main functions in your vehicle. First, the thermostat needs to get the engine to heat to the proper temperature to run optimally as soon as possible, and the second function is to keep the engine at the correct operating temperature so your car has a high performing and reliable engine. 

What is the function of the car thermostat?


In cars today, the most popular type of thermostat that you will most likely find is one that is in charge of determining the flow of coolant to the radiator. The coolant is the liquid that serves the main function of transferring heat and adding antifreeze protection to the car to provide any breakdown of parts. The main function of coolant is to regulate the temperature of a system – in this case, the cooling system of the vehicle. 


The radiator that the thermostat is bringing the coolant to is in charge of the heat exchange in the vehicle, designed to transfer heat from the hot coolant through to the fan to cool it off. The coolant and radiator being in good condition can affect the price for how much is a thermostat for a car. 


This specific kind of car thermostat uses a certain type of mechanism, consisting of a chamber that uses a wax pellet that is in charge of melting and expanding at a certain temperature. This expansion and the changing of sizes of this pellet then alter the rod that opens a valve when the operating temperature has been exceeded, meaning it is too hot for the engine to run. 


This process of using the rod to open the valve allows more coolant into the radiator. You might be wondering what the wax pellet has to do with this – the operating temperature of the nine is largely controlled by the wax composition.

Troubleshooting your car thermostat


One fast way that you might be able to tell how much is a thermostat for a car when you hear something wrong in your car is by listening to the cooling fan. This can be an easy and efficient way to tell if your car’s cooling system is working properly or if there is something harming the system, causing it to run at an inefficient level.


For example, if you hear the fan turning on during a day when the fan might not need to be used, like on a cool day, or if the fan has been turned on for operation after a short spell, then there is a high likelihood that the coolant level in your car has dropped below the proper level, or that there is a problem itself with the thermostat. This can make you ask the question of how much is a thermostat for a car?

Is there a problem with my car thermostat?


If you determine that this is the case and the thermostat is causing issues, or is the root cause of the problems in their vehicle, then you should first let the car’s cooling system relax before you check the fluid level in the holding tank. Once the car has been cooled and the internal parts are no longer hot, you might want to determine if the coolant level is low. If it is, your next step should be to inspect the rubber cooling pipes for any damage. 


These specific cooling pipes are key parts, connecting the radiator to the expansion tank and from the car’s engine to the radiator, forming key passageways between these important mechanisms. If these houses are damaged or have become cracked over time, this can affect how much is a thermostat for a car. 


Small things that do not seem like a big deal can add up over time with these hoses. Vibrations that are typically caused while driving a car, whether very fast or over uneven roads, can cause the pipes to wear and break down over time if they unfortunately rub or chafe against other parts nearby. 


If there are bulges or slashes in the pipes you need to replace them as soon as possible to prevent any extreme leaks and problems with the radiator and engine. However, if there are no leaks in these houses within your car’s cooling system, the main culprit will more often than not be the thermostat, which needs to be changed as soon as you ask how much is a thermostat for a car. 

When should I replace my car thermostat?


When determining how much is a thermostat for a car, you might be scared as to how much they are going to say for the complete replacement. However, over time, problems can build up and the replacement is necessary to keep your cooling system running smoothly and efficiently. The thermostat is consistently in use when the engine is in use, so it undergoes extreme wear.


When the engine runs with the valve opening and closing at various intervals throughout use, the thermostat has to keep the engine at the right temperature, dealing with the frequent changes in pressure and temperature. This is one of the most likely parts within the cooling system that can fail, meaning you should know how much is a thermostat for a car.


In addition, this part leads to further issues like the engine overheating, excessive friction, engine damage, and potential engine replacement if you let this problem go on for too long without any fixes. Furthermore, it can be clogged by dirt in the engine coolant, meaning that the level of coolant will be too low and not be able to travel between the system as efficiently as before, leading to further issues and making you wonder how much is a thermostat for a car?


If you notice any one of these issues, you need to have the thermostat in your car analyzed along with the starter motor inspected at the same interval. If possible, to save on labor costs, you can have the part replaced during the initial inspection. 

What happens during a car thermostat replacement? 


There are various steps that either you or the mechanic must follow when replacing the heater thermostat. If you want to save some money, you can try the DIY option. However, you must have the extensive technical knowledge to ensure that you do not harm any other parts and cause the price of the replacement to skyrocket much higher to include other expensive fixes. 


First, the mechanic will read the electronic control unit to see if there are any stored fault codes that have shown up. They can do this by using a diagnostic tool to run for trouble code and see where the problem lies. 


Next, the mechanic will analyze the thermostat and the cooling system, determining if the problem needs a replacement of the car thermostat. When wondering how much is a thermostat for a car, the mechanic will usually tell you at this point how much you are expected to pay if this is the cause of the problems.


Then, the mechanic will close the cooling system and add the necessary engine coolant to keep the cooling system running efficiently and the coolant levels at the right level. After the coolant has been refiled, the mechanic will run the engine and potentially test drive the car to see if the cooling system works properly. Lastly, the mechanic will double check his work. 

Price of car thermostat replacement cost


To give you an idea of how much is a thermostat for a car, we have included some sample replacement costs for popular cars on the market today. The least expensive option is for the 2002 LDV Convoy which costs between $60-$70 for the franchise dealer and $40-$45 for the independent garage fix.the second cheapest option is the 2001 Peugeot 206, costing between $80-$90 at a franchise dealer and $50-$55 at an independent garage.


Next, the 2009 Renault Megane is fairly inexpensive, costing between $130-$150 at the franchise dealer and $80-$90 at the independent garage, while the 2006 Volkswagen Jetta starts to get much higher, ranging between $160-$180 at the franchise dealer and $90-$100 at the garage. The most expensive option for the total car thermostat replacement cost comes to the 2008 Ford S-Max, which is a whopping $220 for the franchise dealer replacement average and $160 for the independent garage. 


If you are just looking for a basic range of prices for the car thermostat replacement cost, your mechanic will charge you often between $131 and $245 for the total service. If you feel more comfortable going with a chain shop, Midas is slightly less expensive, coming in at between $101 and $275 on average. 


Other chain shops perform this service as well, with Mr. Tire ranging from $99 to $284, and NAPA ranging on average from $122 to $291 for the replacement cost. If you feel like you can do this repair yourself, or if you want to bring parts to a local mechanic, Walmart can sell you the parts for the car thermostat replacement cost for between $22 and $93, while ordering on Amazon will run you between $28 and $72. 

Sample Car Thermostat Replacement Costs 


To give you a better idea of how much is a thermostat for a car and what you might spend based on modern and current cars on the market, we have included sample thermostat replacement costs for cars you'll typically find being sold today. The least expensive option is a tie between the Honda Civic, Honda Accord, and the Ford Fusion, with the total price ranging between $104 and $157 for all of these caf choices. The labor runs between $72 and $92, while the parts cost between $32 and $65. 


The next more expensive options are still fairly cheap in terms of total prices, with the Nissan Altima and the Ford F-Series tieing at between $131 and $191 total. For the two types of cars, the labor comes to between $90 and $126, while the parts are between $32 and $65. 


The next options for a car replacement cost when determining how much is a thermostat for a car are the Honda CR-V, coming in at between $139 and $197, and the Toyota Corolla, ranging between $148 and $212, with the labor coming in at $108 to $138 and the parts between $40 and $74.


The most expensive options for this car replacement involves the Toyota Camry and the Ford Focus, with both of these cars having a total price of between $202 and $283, with the parts between $32 and $65, and the labor between $162 and $218. 

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