The thermostat for a car tells the temperature of the inside of the vehicle, helps regulate the temperature of the cooling system, and ensures the overheating and friction do not happen in the car’s system, causing further damage to the entire vehicle.
Ensuring the engine does not get too hot or too cold during use 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 full 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 a car thermostat’s functions, the replacement cost, and the answer to how much is a thermostat for a car?
Cooling System Mechanisms
There are many components of your car’s temperature and cooling system that work together to prevent further damage to your vehicle. Let’s find out the car’s thermostat function for a car, the coolant temperature sensor, and the thermostat housing.
Function of Thermostat
In cars today, the most popular type of thermostat you will most likely find is in charge of determining the flow of coolant to the radiator. The coolant is the liquid that serves the top function of transferring heat and adding antifreeze protection to the car to provide any breakdown of parts. The crucial function of a coolant is to regulate the temperature of a system – in this case, the vehicle’s cooling system.
The radiator that the thermostat is bringing the coolant to is in charge of the vehicle’s heat exchange, 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 how much a thermostat is for a car.
This specific kind of car thermostat uses a certain type of mechanism, consisting of a chamber that uses a wax pellet 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 wax composition largely controls the engine’s operating temperature.
Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor Function
As we know, the coolant temperature sensor, which is also known commonly as the coolant temperature switch, is a key part of the engine system. This sensor can help analyze and manage the engine system by monitoring the engine’s coolant temperature. The coolant is a liquid mixed with water to keep the radiator from freezing or overheating in extreme weather conditions or conditions within your engine.
Once the engine coolant temperature sensor measures the coolant temperature in the engine, the next step is to use electrical resistance to determine the precise temperature.
The electrical signal taken by the engine coolant temperature sensor is then sent to the car’s computer so the proper changes can be made to the engine’s timing and fuel calculations for optimal performance. If the engine timing is incorrect, this can answer how much is a thermostat for a car.
If the computer and the engine are not working right and determining the engine coolant temperature, then this can be a way that you can tell if your engine coolant temperature sensor is bad. The car’s computer is also in charge of turning back the engine performance settings if it detects that the engine temperature is too high and can cause overheating.
Thermostat Housing Function
The thermostat is located between the engine and the radiator, regulating the heat transfer fluid flow to maintain the correct temperature. The thermostat is required in every single car to keep the engine operating at the proper temperature.
The thermostat’s duty or the thermostat housing impedes the flow of the coolant to the radiator until the engine has reached the proper operating temperature to run correctly. When you start your vehicle after the engine heats up and gets warm over time, the coolant will also get hot within the engine and provide data to answer how much is a thermostat for a car.
Due to the coolant warming up and heating within the engine, the wax pellet inside the thermostat melts. Once the engine gets to around 180 degrees Fahrenheit to operate correctly, it expands and pushes the cylinder rod out of the valve’s opening. Expanding the cylinder then causes the hot coolant to flow throughout the cooling system after leaving the thermostat housing.
The radiator helps the coolant cooldown, so that very hot liquid does not flow around the entire vehicle. As the coolant reaches a lower temperature, the wax in the temperature housing returns to the normal position and reduces the coolant flow. Due to the wax returning to the proper position, the thermostat and the thermostat housing work together to reduce the engine temperature.
Knowing how the engine coolant temperature sensor works can help answer the question of how much a thermostat is for a car.
Replacing a Car Thermostat – Timing
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 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 must keep the engine at the right temperature, dealing with frequent pressure and temperature changes. The valve 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 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?
Car Thermostat Replacement Steps
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 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.
Read the ECU
First, the mechanic will read the electronic control unit to see if any stored fault codes have shown up. They can do this by using a diagnostic tool to run for trouble code and see where the problem lies to answer how much is a thermostat for a car.
Analyze the Cooling System
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 how much you are expected to pay if this is the cause of problems.
Refill the Coolant
The mechanic will then 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.
Test Drive the Car
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 to help answer how much a thermostat is for a car.
“How much is a thermostat for a car?” 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.
Sample Replacement Costs
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 is the 2008 Ford S-Max, a whopping $220 for the franchise dealer replacement average and $160 for the independent garage. As you can see, some of the more expensive options can help you answer how much a thermostat is for a car.
Average Car Thermostat Replacement Cost
If you are just looking for a basic range of prices for the car thermostat replacement cost, your mechanic will often charge you 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 between $101 and $275 on average.
Other chain shops perform this service 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.
Car Thermostat Options
When shopping online for a new car thermostat, there are many options you can choose from that will work for your specific make, model, and year of car.
First, you could choose one of the thermostat housing Vemo Expert Kits. This kit contains a seal, thermostat, and sensor, so you don’t have to shop around for individual parts. Certain websites also tell you what kind of cars are compatible with this product, ensuring you do not buy a thermostat replacement that does not work with your vehicle.
Secondly, you can buy an individual thermostat replacement for your car without buying additional parts. You could try the Gates thermostat. This thermostat operates at a temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit and does not have a housing – this means that you will have to purchase a thermostat housing replacement separately.
For just under $10, buying an individual thermostat replacement could be the way to go for your vehicle. This kind of thermostat is fairly generic, so it works with a wide range of vehicles, like Audi, Ford, Skoda, and Volvo. Shopping around online can ensure you get the correct thermostat replacement for your vehicle.
The thermostat, engine coolant temperature sensor, and temperature housing all play crucial roles in the temperature within your vehicle. By keeping all of these parts working at the right level, you can ensure that your vehicle operates at a high level for a long period of time.
Most importantly, knowing the car thermostat’s average price helps you decide where to get the replacement done and the warning signs necessary to diagnose this faulty part.