If you were experiencing problems with the thermostat in your Range Rover, there are a few symptoms that you need to be on the lookout for and a handful of solutions that can help fix the problem for you. In general, you're looking at a repair bill of between $300 and $400 if you take your Range Rover to a mechanic to get the thermostat looked at and replaced.
Range Rovers are made by the Land Rover company and have been in production for years now. British Leyland introduced the Range Rover back in 1970 and it's arguably one of the first SUVs on the market, and also one of the oldest ones on the market today. Though the company has changed a few hands over the years, from British Leyland up through Jaguar which owns it today, the basic vehicles have been pretty much the same during that time.
The cost of getting a replacement thermostat for a Range Rover will run you about $120 to $170 or so. This of course depends on where you buy it from, whether you get it from a local auto parts dealer or online at AutoZone for instance. You need to make sure you have the exact right thermostat for Range Rover which of course depends on the year of Range Rover that you're driving.
For instance, if you have a Range Rover Sport, you can get a replacement thermostat and housing assembly on Roverparts.com for just under $120. You can get a genuine thermostat made by Land Rover as a replacement from the same site for $170.
This is handy if you are interested in replacing the thermostat on your own rather than taking it to a mechanic to get the job done.
Common Range Rover Thermostat Problems
It's not unheard of that Range Rover owners have had problems with their engine overheating in the past. This is especially prevalent in older model Range Rovers, from the 90s and early 2000s.
Range Rovers are beautiful vehicles, but they do have a reputation for being unreliable. While some owners may drive their Range Rover for years without problems, others seem to be taking them into the shop constantly to get repairs. Ironically, many owners are well aware that Range Rover is an unreliable vehicle and will suffer a number of issues requiring repairs while it's under warranty. It's been argued that this is the trade-off for a vehicle that looks and drives as well as a Range Rover does when it's in good working order.
In terms of a Range Rovers engine overheating, the thermostat is often the culprit. The problem with a thermostat is that it Is a valve that regulates the flow of coolant between the engine in the radiator in your vehicle and it can get stuck in the open or closed position. This can happen as a result of particulate or build up that clogs the delicate mechanism that keeps your thermostat functioning properly.
Signs of a Malfunctioning Range Rover Thermostat
If your Range Rover thermostat isn't working correctly, there are a few signs that will indicate what the problem is.
- Thermostat Stuck in the Open Position: When your thermostat is stuck in the open position then there is no control over the flow of coolant between the radiator and the engine. This can lead to overcooling of the engine, a problem that most people don't think of. Because the flow of coolant is non-stop, your engine isn't able to adequately get up to the right temperature when you start your car. That's going to cause your Range Rover to underperform.
- Thermostat Stuck in the Closed Position: When the thermostat is closed and unable to open. That means the coolant can't travel from the radiator to the engine and back. When that happens, your engine will get up to temperature and continue to overheat. This ends up causing you a lot of damage in the long run if it's not repaired as soon as you notice it's an issue. An overheating engine can not only underperform, it will ruin your gas mileage because you'll be burning extra fuel and it potentially could lead to a catastrophic engine failure if it's allowed to continue for an extended period of time. Overheating engines can lead to valve and piston damage, which could come with repair bills that are in the thousands of dollars.
How to Tell if You Have a Bad Thermostat in Your Range Rover
It can be difficult sometimes to tell if the thermostat is the cause of the problems with your Range Rovers engine. There are a few things you can actually look for to inspect on your own that don't require you paying any money or heading to the mechanic.
- Check Your Coolant Flow: Checking the flow of coolant in your radiator is not that hard to do. Pop the hood of your Range Rover and prop it up.
- Remove the cap from your radiator when your engine is cool. You never want to take the radiator cap off of a radiator that's been running recently and it's still hot. It's very dangerous.
- With your cap off, start the Range Rover and let it run as you idle for about 10 to 20 minutes. You need as much time as it takes to get your engine up to temperature normally. If you see coolant flowing right away, then that means your thermostat is stuck in the open position.
- If after 20 minutes you're not seeing the coolant flowing at all, that means it's stuck in the closed position.
- Double check by looking at the temperature gauge on your dashboard. If your needle is hitting the red, then your thermostat may very likely be the cause here.
- Check Your Hose Temperatures: If you have an infrared thermometer it can be very handy and diagnosing problems with your Range Rover thermostat. If you don't have one, you can get them very cheaply online on sites like Amazon.com.
- The first thing you want to do is take the temperature of Your engine just above where the black hose that connects your radiator to your engine is located.
- Take the temperature of the hose several inches Down the line as well. The temperature of the hose should be a little cooler than the temperature of your engine. If it's not, your thermostat may be stuck in the open position.
- Get your engine up to temperature after letting it run for 10 to 20 minutes. Use the thermometer to check the temperature in the same locations again to see how they've changed. If the engine and the hose are within about 10 degrees of one another, then the thermostat should be running okay. If the hose is a lot cooler still, then your thermostat is stuck in the closed position.
- Try the Heater: If your thermostat is stuck in the on position and there is unrestricted coolant flow to the engine, the engine will not get up to temperature. If you let your Range Rover run for about 15 minutes and then turn the heater on, if it's blowing cold air then you almost certainly have a thermostat that is stuck in the open position.
What Happens if I Drive My Range Rover with a Bad Thermostat?
As we've seen, there are two ways that your Range Rover’s thermostat can start to malfunction. The overall effect on your Range Rover is slightly different depending on what the problem is.
- Open Thermostat: When your thermostat is open, your vehicle's performance will not suffer greatly if you continue to drive. That doesn't mean it's a good thing to drive your Range Rover in this condition, as he will suffer for mileage and poor performance overall.
- Closed Thermostat: When your thermostat is closed, and the danger to your Range Rovers engine is more immediate than if it is open. A closed thermostat is going to cause your engine to overheat and that can cause problems very quickly. The longer your vehicle is allowed to run at a high temperature the more potential you have for damaging the engine. You absolutely do not want to drive your Range Rover if it's overheating because of a bad thermostat. This needs to be addressed as soon as you can.
Can I Replace My Range Rover’s Thermostat on My Own?
Replacing a vehicle's thermostat is one of the less complicated repair jobs that you can do on your own. That's not to say it's so simple that you could do it with your eyes closed by any means. You need to be prepared to get the job done, and if you've never done it before then you really need to research how the process is done to make sure you do it correctly.
Fortunately, the internet offers a lot of solutions when it comes to doing DIY Range Rover repairs. You can only find some walkthroughs that can explain and step-by-step detail how you go about replacing your thermostat, there are also a lot of videos that will do the same.
The benefits to videos that demonstrate how to replace the thermostat in your Range Rover is that these are often prepared by professional mechanics. Some of these mechanics have well over 30 years of experience in the industry. They have a proven track record of being able to repair cars and, not only that, many of them have proven to be excellent teachers. Their videos are clear and concise and show you in great detail just how to do any repair job including replacing a thermostat in a Range Rover Pier
When you can see how the job is done firsthand, it can make it a lot easier for you to replicate the process. The best part of course is that when you're watching a video of a professional mechanic performing this repair, you can easily go back and watch it again to see specific parts and ensure that you're doing the job correctly yourself. It may not be a substitute for having a professional do the job but considering the amount of money you're going to save it's well worth the try.
Even if you've never done home repairs on your own, replacing the thermostat in your Range Rover might be a good place to start if you're feeling up to the task. It's not nearly as complicated as some jobs, and we'll get you more comfortable working under the hood of your Range Rover for the future if that's something that you have an interest in. Remember, the labour cost of getting your thermostat repaired is probably going to be in the neighbourhood of $125 to $200 depending on your mechanic. So, you're definitely saving yourself some money by giving this a try on your own.
The Bottom Line
A bad thermostat in your Range Rovers engine can cause serious performance issues that will only get worse over time. Well an open thermostat is going to affect the overall performance, if it's closed, you're looking at some serious damage if it's not recovered quickly.
An overheating engine is something that needs to be taken care of right away. Let me know if it's showing in the red on your temperature gauge he should stop driving immediately. Pulled on the side of the road and get yourself to a mechanic as soon as you possibly can. You'll save yourself more money in the long run by getting repaired sooner rather than later.
Repairs on a Range Rover can be very costly compared to some other vehicles. They have a reputation for being unreliable, but the thermostat is one of the easier problems to fix. Whether you're getting it done on your own or a mechanic is doing it so are you, it's a really cheap but effective repair that needs to be done.
The thermostat is not a complicated part of your vehicle, but it is an important one and integral to the overall functioning of your engine. There's no reason not to get it fixed when you notice a problem to keep your Range Rover running as reliably as possible.