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- What can cause a thermostat to fail?
There are four main reasons your car’s thermostat might fail:
- Overheating: The thermostat detects the heat of the engine, and uses the heat to open and close a valve. The components within a thermostat are only designed to handle operating temperatures, so when the temperature climbs too high, it’ll cause the thermostat to fail.
- Contaminated coolant: Sludge can build up in coolant, and can get inside the thermostat. This can restrict the efficacy of flow, or prevent coolant flowing through the thermostat. This means the thermostat won’t get an accurate reading, and can lead to your engine overheating or overcooling.
- Manufactury defects: Like most other car parts, thermostats are mass produced in factories. Sometimes, thermostats slip through the inspection stage with minor defects which can lead to thermostat failure.
- Time: Thermostats are constantly being heated and cooled, and after a while, the internal components wear out. It’s a slow process, but the temperature at which the thermostat will open climbs higher and higher, until one day your engine overheats.
To prevent the above problems from occurring, get your cooling system checked by a professional technician.
- What happens when a thermostat goes out in your car?
You’ll notice your car thermostat isn’t working effectively if the temperature gauge reading is very high, or changing erratically.
If your car thermostat goes out in your car, you’ll want to contact an automotive technician straight away to prevent serious damage occurring to your engine.
- How much does it cost to replace a thermostat?
Most typical car thermostats will cost anywhere between $150 to $250 to replace. Some may be more expensive, due to the car’s make and model.
- Can I continue to drive if my car thermostat isn't working?
If you drive with a faulty car thermostat, you risk engine overheating and serious, expensive damage to your vehicle. If your car thermostat is faulty, have your vehicle checked by a technician as soon as possible.
- How often does a car thermostat need to be replaced?
A car thermostat only needs to be replaced if it’s faulty. It is best practice to replace the thermostat when you change the coolant, or if overheating has occurred.
If it’s more than five years old, it pays to have your vehicle cooling system checked regularly by a cooling technician.
- Can I change my car thermostat myself?
You can change a car thermostat if you follow the vehicle manual and instructions carefully. It’s also a good opportunity to replace the coolant and flush the cooling system to protect the new thermostat from contamination.
However, a faulty thermostat is not the only cause of abnormal engine temperatures. There could be a problem elsewhere in the cooling system. Consider a low coolant level, leaks, a faulty water pump, worn water pump belt, faulty radiator fan, collapsed or leaking hose, or a clogged radiator.
To prevent potential expensive damage, it pays to have a full cooling system check done by a qualified technician when you observe unusual engine temperatures.
- Why is it important to choose a high-quality thermostat?
A thermostat accelerates engine warm-up and regulates the engine operating temperature. Choosing a high-quality thermostat will ensure your vehicle achieves excellent fuel economy, less wear on the engine, lower emissions, better driving in cold weather, effective cabin heating and avoidance of engine over-heating.
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