Four Signs Your Car’s Thermostat Is Bad

When your car, truck, or utility vehicle was assembled in the factory, a thermostat was added to the cooling system. This auto part is in charge of releasing the engine coolant once the temperature gets too high. It has a valve to do this. Generally, Advantage Auto Service advises that you can expect to get about 10 years out of the factory thermostat. After a decade, it’s probable that the thermostat will go bad eventually. We are going to list for signs below that indicate that it’s time for a new thermostat in your automobile.

1. Noticeable Coolant Leak

When we say noticeable coolant leak, we mean that you have coolant spots or puddles on your garage floor. It’s easy to determine that the coolant is leaking if the color of the fluid on the garage floor matches the coolant color in your engine. The thermostat is located near the water pump on the cylinder head, so you may notice the coolant spots underneath your vehicle toward the front. We can pinpoint your coolant leak and confirm that it is coming from the thermostat.

2. Unnoticeable Coolant Leak

The problem with a thermostat leak, however, is that it is and always noticeable. You may end up with a thermostat that has a valve stuck in the closed position. When this happens, instead of flowing through the engine, the coolant backs out of the thermostat and pools around its housing. This corrodes the thermostat housing and leaves it coated with a substance that is a lot like gel. This is actually the pooled engine coolant that is leaking out of the stuck valve.

3. Erratic Temperature Changes

Aside from leaks, a thermostat can also malfunction, and when it does, your temperature gauge will reveal the problem. If the thermostat is releasing coolant into the engine sporadically, you will notice that the temperature gauge goes up and down erratically. This is an indication that the engine is not getting coolant when it needs it or that it is getting too much coolant. This can be caused by a malfunctioning thermostat that needs to be replaced.

4. Overheating Engine

Finally, the most obvious sign that your thermostat is no longer working is an overheating engine. In the case of the thermostat, the engine will overheat quickly after you start your automobile. Usually, the engine temperature rises to dangerous levels within the first 15 minutes of driving your vehicle. It’s important to have the thermostat inspected right away to avoid additional engine damage.

Advantage Auto Service in Marietta, GA, would be happy to inspect your thermostat and replacement if necessary. Call us today to schedule an appointment.