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An Auto Mechanic’s Guide to Thermostat Replacement in Cars

Published on July 19, 2018 by in Blog

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Ever wonder what helps to regulate the temperature of a car’s engine so it won’t conk out while on the road? Sitting near the top of the engine, the thermostat helps to keep the temperature at a nice 82 to 99 degrees Celsius. Let’s say the car’s engine is hitting those high temperatures, then the thermostat will kick in, opening a valve that allows the coolant do its job and bring temperatures down again.

Unfortunately, like any other part of a vehicle, the thermostat can get stuck, break, and cause a whole host of engine problems as a result. Fortunately, though, there are experienced mechanics ready to repair and replace thermostats to get drivers back on the road.

Do you love cars and working on engines? Here’s a quick guide on thermostat replacement!

What a Pro Mechanic Considers Before Starting a Thermostat Replacement

Professional mechanics won’t necessarily grab their wrenches and open up an engine cylinder at the first sign of a temperature problem. In many cases, if there is an issue with engine cooling, it can be for a variety of different reasons, like a busted fan or faulty radiator. As a result, pro car mechanics will test to see if the problem is with the thermostat before drawing any conclusions.
Testing the vehicle’s thermostat can be a simple procedure, but it’s important that mechanics keep themselves safe by wearing protective gloves and eyewear just in case hot oil or other fluids squirt out unexpectedly. Start by taking off the radiator cap and checking whether or not the coolant fluid is moving.

Usually, when the thermostat is working as it should, and the engine has reached high temperatures, the valve will stay open to let the coolant reach the engine. If the auto mechanic has just turned the car on and the fluid is moving, or the engine is overheating and the coolant hasn’t yet been supplied to the engine, then the thermostat valve is either stuck in the open or closed position and needs replacing.

Steps Professional Auto Mechanics Take When Removing Faulty Thermostats

Mechanics will usually start the repair process by putting a bucket or pail on the ground near the radiator, both to drain the coolant and to catch any more fluid that may leak out while they work. Whenever draining the coolant, mechanics are very careful not to do so when the car has been on for a while. This will make the fluid being drained piping hot, and will likely injure a mechanic, especially those who have not had much experience working on cars.

Once the coolant has been drained properly, a mechanic will get to work detaching the radiator hose from the thermostat housing. Using a wrench, they’ll then remove the bolts binding the thermostat housing to the engine cylinder. Once the housing is off, mechanics can get to the thermostat, a small bronze coloured piece with a wax chamber. Recent grads of mechanic school should also remember to remove and replace the gasket seal still left on the thermostat or in the housing.

What Auto Mechanics Need to Look Out for When Replacing the Thermostat

Installing a new thermostat into a vehicle is the easy part, but there are a few things that mechanics new and old need to keep in mind. First, it’s important to make sure that the thermostat is being placed into the housing correctly. Most thermostats will fit the wide round top part into the housing, and lower, narrow spring bottom towards the engine. Once that’s done, the mechanic simply places the housing with the thermostat back onto the engine and tightens the bolts to secure it. Reattach the radiator hose any you’re ready to go!

There are other thermostats that fit into a top hose, and need to be properly inserted to connect with the water pump. The mechanic can secure the top hose thermostat to the water pump by using various screw clips.

Finally, it’s time for the mechanic to give the thermostat one final test by turning on the engine and waiting to see if it’s working properly.

With top-tier training you’ll be plowing through these repairs in no time.

Become a mechanic with the help of CATI!

 
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