Tips

Four Signs Your Car Has a Bad Thermostat

A bad thermostat can wreak havoc in your vehicle’s engine. Village Autoworks is going to list the signs of a bad car thermostat below so you know what to look for. If your vehicle is a decade old or older, the thermostat has reached the end of its lifespan and will be more likely to go bad. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do other than to replace the faulty thermostat. These cooling system parts give you 10 years on average and that’s it.

1. Corroded Housing

If you look at your car’s thermostat closely and see corrosion around the thermostat housing, this is a sign that the thermostat is leaking. The leak isn’t large enough to drip coolant onto the garage floor, but it is still doing damage to the thermostat and its housing. Corrosion can slowly eat away at the thermostat housing and then the thermostat, leaving you will rust holes in the auto part.

2. Leaking Coolant

As the rust eats through the thermostat, you will eventually end up with coolant spots on the garage floor. This indicates the leak has progressed to being much worse, and the leaking coolant can cause damage to the engine if you drive your car, truck, or utility vehicle. Whether from the thermostat or elsewhere, it’s never a good idea to drive your automobile when it is leaking coolant. This precious fluid is what keeps the engine temperature under the maximum reading of 220 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Erratic Temperatures

Your car’s thermostat can also go bad without developing a leak. The thermostat opens a valve to release coolant into the engine once it reaches a certain temperature. If the thermostat fails to release the coolant because it is malfunctioning, your engine will overheat. At some point, the thermostat may release too much coolant to overcorrect and your will engine will run colder than normal. The cycle between hot and cold may continue until you get the faulty thermostat replaced.

4. Overheating Engine

Finally, the most common sign of a malfunctioning thermostat is an overheating engine. The engine cannot run under 220 degrees without coolant, and, as mentioned above, it’s the thermostat the releases the coolant. If there is a coolant delivery problem not related to the water pump, it is most likely the thermostat that is the culprit.

Call Village Autoworks in Roseville and Woodbury, MN, today if your vehicle is experiencing any of the problems listed above. We will inspect and test the thermostat and replace it if necessary.

Photo by oolphotoo from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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