What does the thermostat do?
The cooling system works by monitoring engine temperatures and circulating coolant through the engine accordingly. Not enough coolant will result in higher engine temperatures and possible damage to engine components. Too much coolant will limit the engine’s temperature, resulting in a loss of power and bad engine performance. But how does your car control the levels of coolant flowing around your engine? This is where the thermostat comes in.
The thermostat is a vital part of your cooling system, which opens and closes to let increase or restrict this flow of coolant. This allows for optimum engine temperatures, which result in great performance and little risk of overheating.
When to replace the thermostat in your car?
Over time, the thermostat can become stuck open or shut. If the thermostat is stuck shut, no coolant will enter the engine and it will overheat. If it is stuck open, too much coolant will enter the engine, affecting its performance.
A faulty engine thermostat can cause significant engine damage very quickly, so for most cars, it is a good idea to replace the thermostat when the cambelt is replaced or at least every 100,000 km.
Symptoms of a stuck thermostat in your car
- Overheating engine – One of the most common signs of a stuck thermostat is engine overheating. The thermostat is responsible for regulating the flow of coolant through the engine. If it gets stuck in the closed position, it restricts the flow of coolant, leading to inadequate cooling and increased engine temperature.
- Low engine temperature – If the thermostat becomes stuck open, your engine’s temperature will remain at a lower level than normal, or it may take a long amount of time to warm up (using more fuel and creating more harmful green house gas emissions).
- Loss of power – You may notice that your engine is struggling to perform. This can be due to too much coolant entering your engine, preventing it from running optimally. As well as reduced power, you may experience reduced fuel economy and stalling.
- Coolant leaks – Damage to the thermostat can cause coolant to leak around the thermostat housing. Look around the thermostat and underneath your vehicle for leaks.
Where is the thermostat located?
Here are some common areas where you may find the thermostat:
- Engine housing: The thermostat is often housed within a metal housing or a thermostat housing that is connected to the engine block or cylinder head. It may be positioned on the upper or lower part of the engine.
- Coolant hose connection: The thermostat housing is usually connected to the engine with coolant hoses. These hoses carry coolant to and from the radiator. The thermostat may be located at the junction point where one of these hoses connects to the engine.
- Near the water pump: In some engines, the thermostat may be located near the water pump, which is responsible for circulating the coolant throughout the cooling system. It can be found in the vicinity of the water pump housing.
Should you drive if your thermostat is not working correctly?
If your thermostat is not working correctly, it is generally not advisable to continue driving your vehicle without addressing the issue. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause various problems with the engine’s cooling system, leading to potential engine damage or overheating. Here’s why you should take caution:
When the thermostat is stuck open, you will not need to worry about overheating. However, a loss of engine power may occur and you may struggle to reach higher speeds.
Car Engine Thermostat Replacement in Hamilton
Is your car engine in need of a new thermostat? If so, we can help! At Grimmer Motors, our team of skilled mechanics can examine your cooling system for problems such as a faulty thermostat. Once we know if the thermostat is the issue, we can remove it and replace it with a new one. This will allow for better engine performance or a reduced risk of engine damage via overheating.
For new car thermostat installation in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!