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Should I Change My Car’s Thermostat? Your Ultimate Guidance

Should I Change My Car's Thermostat

“Should I change my car's thermostat?” The short answer is it depends. If you notice any symptoms of a bad thermostat, you must replace it immediately. These symptoms include engine overheating, high-temperature gauge reading, and others.

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Like any other component in your car, the thermostat might go bad at some point. However, there are still some drivers who might ask, “should I change my car's thermostat?”

This article will walk you through all you need to know about when you should change your car thermostat and whether you should change it yourself or leave it to professionals.

What is the thermostat, and what does it do?

One of the first steps in understanding whether you should change to the thermostat or not is to get an idea about its role and what it does in your vehicle.

Your vehicle thermostat is part of the cooling system, and it's responsible for monitoring and controlling the flow of coolant surrounding the engine. Coolant is the fluid that continuously runs around the engine to bring its temperature down when it goes very hot.

As you start your car, your engine is not hot, and there is no need for the coolant to run around the engine. Therefore, the thermostat comes into play, blocks the coolant, and prevents it from reaching the engine. On the other hand, as the interest of pressure increases and once it gets to a certain point, the thermostat opens and allows the coolant to cool down the engine.

cooling system thermostat replacement

How often should I change my car's thermostat?

As you might notice, the thermostat plays a significant role in your vehicle. Without a perfectly working thermostat, you can easily deal with catastrophic outcomes that could cost the entire engine.

Since the thermostat goes bad over time reviews, you need to keep an eye out for when you should replace it. Typically, a thermostat is a very durable component, and you shouldn't worry about replacing it unless it goes bad. Many automotive experts say that your thermostat lasts up to 10 years without any issues.

How can the thermostat go bad?

The thermostat serves as a valve, and it either allows or prevents coolant from running around the engine. Therefore, it is important to understand how exactly the thermostat goes bad because the way it breaks determines how critical your situation is.

Generally speaking, the thermostat might get stuck open door stuck closed.

1.    Stuck open thermostat

A stuck opened thermostat is bad, but it's not as severe as the other one. However, when the thermostat is open all the time, the engine might not reach the maximum temperature. Therefore, you'll see a reduction in the image’s overall performance and other issues.

2.    Stuck closed thermostat

On the other hand, a start close thermostat is one of those critical conditions that immediately damages the engine. Imagine if the engine does not receive any equivalent all the time; what could happen as the engine’s temperature increases? You will get to a point where your engine overheats, and it might get self-destructed in no time.

Car Overheating

When should I change my car's thermostat?

While the thermostat will last up to 10 years in typical conditions, there are some instances where it goes bad prematurely. In other words, it doesn't mean that you should wait on your thermostat and think that it will be fine all the time here in

There are many symptoms to watch for, indicating that you should replace your thermostat. Let's take a closer look at some of the common symptoms of a bad car thermostat:

1.    High-temperature gauge reading

One of the most common and first things you'll notice when the thermostat goes bad is a high-temperature reading. Note that this only happens when the thermostat is stuck closed because the temperature won't go high if the thermostat is stuck open.

It is very important to monitor the temperature gauge reading because it tells you a lot about the existing condition of the engine temperature. If the rating is saying very high, then the engine is not in a new condition, and it's something that should warn you immediately.

2.    Engine overheating

As we indicated before, a high-temperature gauge reading indicates engine overheating. Therefore, whenever you deal with this situation, you must stop your car and allow it to cool down for at least 30 minutes before checking underneath the hood. Typically, I think you will be hot, and there's a very high chance of getting burned if you touch any of the components, especially those close to the cooling system.

After your vehicle cools down, you can assess if you can continue driving your car or not. For example, if you try starting your vehicle and realize that the overheating issue came up, the problem is related to something that could be a bad thermostat.

3.    Steam from the engine compartment

Of course, if you ignore, in turn, overheating for a long time, you might end up at a point where your vehicle will start making some smoke and steam coming from underneath the hood. This is a very weird situation to many inexperienced drivers because it could indicate that something very bad is happening, which is the case spot it's not going to be as terrible as the way some drivers might react to it.

The best thing to do in this situation is to calm down and stop your car immediately whenever you can hear. Then, as we indicated before, follow the instructions that we mentioned we've been dealing with engine overheating problems.

4.    Heater and temperature gauge fluctuations

Sometimes the temperature gauge might not read an endless state number. For example, you might look at the agency the number very high suddenly and then switch to a very low number. If that happens, it could indicate a problem with the thermostat, but this problem is unclear unless you consult your mechanic and perform their required inspection.

5.    Possible leakage

Sometimes if the thermostat gets closed for a long time, it might lead to certain additional pressure causing coolant to leak through some of the weak seals in your engine. Of course, this is a very difficult situation because the coolant will not be enough to maintain the engine temperature. So not only do you have a problem with the thermostat, but now your problem is more critical because it has to do with the fundamental component.

6.    Drop-in coolant level

If the engine starts leaking and you see coolant dripping underneath the car, the coolant level is dropping below the optimum point. At certain conditions and when the coolant continues to lead, that's when you'll deal with critical conditions that are not a joke and can cost you thousands of dollars on repair, assuming that your vehicle is going to be repairable after that.

Remember that all the mentioned symptoms of a bad thermostat might be linked to something else. For example, if you're dealing with an oil leak, you'll have similar conditions to those we mentioned earlier, except for the coolant stuff. Therefore, before you go ahead and replace your thermostat, you need to continue a thorough inspection and have your mechanic look to confirm that the issue is only coming from the coolant. It could be a combination of several faulty components.

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Should I change my car thermostat?

Once you detect that your thermostat is bad, the next step is to change it. However, the very common question that we receive continuously is whether you should change your thermostat yourself or not.

The good news is that changing your thermostat is not a complicated job and something that many average drivers could do. However, unless you have the minimum level of mechanical skill sets, sometimes it's not recommended to mess up your car, especially if you're driving a valuable vehicle.

There are plenty of available tutorials and YouTube videos to walk you through the process of how to change your car's thermostat. Ensure to check with your vehicles owner’s manual for more details about what type of service that you should purchase and where it's located here in

However, if you feel uncomfortable changing the thermostat and want to maintain your vehicle and prevent any sudden mistakes, you should definitely reach out to a professional spirit. Any mechanic working at a small independent shop should easily replace the thermostat without any issues. However, many drivers of luxury vehicles prefer to go to a dealership because at the dealership, mechanics are more familiar with the specific brand, and there's a very limited chance for those mechanics to introduce some mistakes that could cause a lot of problems.

How much does it cost to change the car's thermostat?

The thermostat replacement cost ranges from $200 to $300. However, this range differs significantly depending on your vehicle type and where you get the job done.

For example, if you want to get your thermostat replaced at a dealership, repair costs can pile up easily because dealership labor costs are much higher. But, on the other hand, if you decide to replace your thermostat, you don't have to worry about labor cost, and all that it costs you is just your time and the cost of the part itself.

Is it a good idea to continue driving my car with a bad thermostat?

Not! It's never a good idea to continue driving your cars. This is because it has a bad thermostat. As we mentioned before, the thermostat might go bad in many ways, and if it goes bad, you can easily deal with engine overheating that could cost you thousands of dollars on repair.

Dealing with a bad thermostat is one of those situations where you have to stop driving your car immediately. Next, you must consult your mechanic and ask him what you should do next. Unfortunately, there are instances where a completely bad thermostat might prevent you from reaching the mechanic. Thanks, your only solution is to tell your car to the nearest repair shop.

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Final thoughts

The thermostat is a critical component of your vehicle's cooling system. Unfortunately, the thermostat is not designed to last forever, and if you've ever asked yourself if I should change my car's thermostat, the short answer is definitely yes. The thermostat is typically very durable and might last up to 10 years. However, there are some situations where you have to keep an eye for symptoms of a bad thermostat and replace it way before then.

Thermostat replacement is not a complicated job, and you might be able to do it yourself. However, you can always leave things to professionals to prevent any mistakes from happening and causing a lot of repairs.

Note that it's important to evaluate your vehicle's overall condition. If you realize that repair costs are piling up and getting closer to your vehicle's overall value, it might make the most sense to sell your car instead of wasting your time, energy, and money under a vehicle that might not work. Are you looking for the perfect buyer-to-buyer problematic car? Then, reach out to cash cars buyer today!

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