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Thermostat Housing – What You Need To Know!

A Comprehensive Guide To Car Thermostat Housing

Thermostat housing function


Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

The thermostat housing is a crucial part of the internal working of your voice. The thermostat housing is located in the engine in between the engine and the radiator. When the engine cools off below the operating temperature, the thermostat housing is closed. The engine’s closed-off part allows the coolant to properly and effectively circulate and move through the engine.


Keeping the thermostat housing closed ensures the coolant can travel to the radiator, which is in charge of transferring the heat. When the engine temperature increases to the high end of the engine operating range, the thermostat housing has to open. 


When the thermostat housing opens, the radiator can cool the coolant before moving back to the engine. 


To best understand how the thermostat housing works, you must know the engine’s function and the radiator in your car.

What is the radiator?

The radiator is in charge of transferring the necessary heat from the fluid inside of your vehicle to the air outside. This transfer process cools the fluid, which then cools the engine to prevent overheating and high temperatures. Radiators are often used to cool automatic transmission fluids, air conditioner refrigerant, intake air, and reduce motor oil or power steering fluid temperature.

Radiator Flush

To keep your radiator working in good condition and keeping your thermostat housing at a high level includes performing a radiator flush in your car. Draining the radiator might get rid of most of the wayward antifreeze, but it could also leave some coolants and some debris behind that can build up and cause performance issues. The contaminants that are left behind after the radiator flush can mix with your new antifreeze and cause overheating and friction creation. To get a full flush, you need to remove all of the unwanted debris and the old liquid so that the old antifreeze does not mix with the newer antifreeze.


Besides just removing the old antifreeze with contaminants from your radiator system, other benefits to flushing your radiator are that it can remove the rust built up over time and the debris accumulated on the radiator as a result of the old contaminated coolant. This radiator flush can also prevent future leaks and future higher radiator flush costs, prevent foaming, corrosion, and the debris build up in the new antifreeze.

What is the engine?

The gasoline car engine’s main purpose is to convert fuel into motion so that your vehicle can move both forward and backward. The best way to turn this fuel into motion is to burn the gasoline inside the engine of your vehicle, also known as the internal combustion engine. By converting the energy from the heat burning into mechanical work, you can quickly lower your 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 and thermostat housing is the cooling system mechanism 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. 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 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 main function of transferring heat and adding antifreeze protection to the car to provide any breakdown of parts. The coolant’s main function is to regulate the temperature of a system – in this case, the vehicle’s coolant’s ooling 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 the car thermostat price and the longevity of the thermostat housing. 


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 changing this pellet’s sizes 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. The performance of the thermostat directly affects the performance of the thermostat housing in your car. 

Symptoms of Faulty Thermostat Housing


If your car is frequently overheating, a faulty or damaged thermostat housing could be the culprit. A broken thermostat housing is more likely to cause a coolant leak in your vehicle, resulting from cracked housing, warped housing, failed seals, or damaged seals that can leak fluid into the engine and cause heat dissipation.


The thermostat housing usually consists of metal or plastic material in your vehicle. In addition, the thermostat housing is a stand-alone part that is separate from the thermostat of your car, or it can be used in tandem with the thermostat and just replaced as a singular thermostat housing unit, reducing the overall labor costs in your vehicle.

Can I drive with a damaged thermostat housing?

If the coolant thermostat or the thermostat housing is broken or leaking fluid, it needs to be replaced as soon as you can. If the coolant level is quickly declining or the coolant is full of debris, the vehicle needs to stop being driven before the problem worsens. Furthermore, if the leak is big enough to cause the engine to overheat due to excessive friction, it can potentially cause the car to not run at the necessary performance level.


In some cases, letting the thermostat housing deteriorate before the issue is solved, the electronic control module in your vehicle will cause the car to go into ‘limp’ mode.

Limp Mode

Limp mode is self-preservation included in vehicles. This mode turns on when it detects abnormal readings or a misfiring or malfunctioning electrical component or mechanical operation. When this happens, your car can detect that there are serious issues with the usual components of your car and needs to be checked for your safety and prevent further damage to your car and your thermostat housing. 


Limp mode turns off your car’s extra features, such as the radio and air conditioning, to preserve energy for the features that are required to run the car, like steering and transmission. That is why it is called limp – only the bare and basic features are needed to drive your car, so the extra aspects are reduced and turned off. 


An example of limp mode is if your engine control unit detects that your boost pressure is 2.0 when it should really be 1.3 bar. If you over boost, you could damage your pistons or other internal parts – and do so very quickly. 


Since many car owners do not notice the engine light or ignore it thinking it is a minor issue, the engine control unit can turn on limp mode and shut off the turbo boost completely to ensure it doesn’t damage any parts or the thermostat housing. 

Thermostat Housing Replacement


The thermostat housing will need replacing if your vehicle outlasts the thermostat, and the part is not functioning correctly. If the hose cracks, the seals are damaged, or the housing cracks due to consistent cooling and heating, the overall thermostat housing can break down and wear out over time. 


In some cars, the housing and the thermostat are integrated and need to be replaced together to prevent any damage from one part, causing a breakdown of the subsequent part. The thermostat housing replacement should be performed at regular maintenance intervals to ensure that your car can continue working at an optimal level. 


  • How is the thermostat housing replaced?


The thermostat housing is replaced once the engine is no longer running, and your car has completely cooled down, ensuring no part is hot while you are working on the interior of your vehicle. A technician you trust at your local auto body shop will first unscrew the fasteners that keep the housing in place and remove the old and damaged part.


After the mechanic has unscrewed the fasteners, the gasket of the thermostat housing or the sealing of the housing is cleaned, ensuring no dirt and debris have built up over time. Once the seals have been cleaned or removed, the new seal is installed on the thermostat housing.


Once the new thermostat housing is installed, the engine is started by the driver, the mechanic, and then brought up to the normal operating temperature. As soon as the coolant is replaced with the thermostat housing, the technician must drain the extra coolant before finishing the last step. 


No matter what happens with the coolant levels and the thermostat housing, any air that is trapped in the cooling system must be removed at this step in the process. This can usually be done by utilizing a vacuum tool that can remove excess air before adding the necessary coolant to get the proper level. 


  • Can I replace the thermostat housing myself?


Suppose you feel like you have sufficient mechanical knowledge and have worked on your car before. In that case, you may be wondering if it is possible to replace the engine coolant thermostat housing yourself. Although your local mechanic or auto body worker usually does the cooling system, if you feel like you can follow the proper guidelines for the cooling system internal parts, you can try this fix yourself.


By keeping in mind the guidelines for properly bleeding the engine coolant system of air, you can prevent any damage in the engine and overheat from occurring inside your vehicle. If the thermostat housing has become damaged and has warped, showing signs of cracks or leaks, it can be replaced by almost anyone who follows the steps in the correct order. 

  1. Thermostat Housing Replacement Price

The thermostat housing replacement’s average cost is usually between $249 and $298 on average for most car owners. The labor costs for replacing the thermostat housing are estimated between $148 and $187, while the cost of the parts is typically priced between $101 and $111. 


  • Replacing Car Thermostat


Over time, problems can build up, and a thermostat 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.


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 coolant level will be too low and not be able to travel between the system.


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.



When determining the function of the thermostat housing, you need to know the function of this part, the function of the thermostat in your vehicle, the signs of a faulty thermostat housing apparatus, and the overall replacement procedure for this crucial internal part in your car. 

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