Automotive Thermostats-What Do They Do?

Back, way back in the olden (some would say golden) days of automobiles (pre 1975) automotive thermostats were kind of thought of as disposable parts. If your vehicle overheated too often and you did not have the money to buy a new thermostat you just pulled it out, cut up a phone book to make a new gasket and went on your way. Of course that was the days of the “straight 8’s” and “straight 6’s” when engines were not especially difficult to understand and long before a “computer brain” showed up.  Today these little gems play a critical role in ensuring that your vehicle runs at its optimum.

What Do They Do?

Thermostats play a vital role in keeping your engine at its optimum operating temperature. The coolant stays in your engine until it reaches the specified temperature than the thermostat opens up and allows the coolant to flow back to the radiator to cool down.

The Thing About Thermostats

In most cases a thermostat will last indefinitely but no one can say for sure how long “indefinite” is and usually the only way you know that you are dealing with a faulty part is when your vehicle starts showing signs. The signs of a faulty thermostat can range from:

  • Really bad gas mileage
  • Overheating
  • Leaking fluid
  • Warping your engine

Of course, really bad engine damage is the least likely scenario, but this little part can cause quite a bit of headaches. In some cases, the thermostat just stops opening, in other cases, it will only open half way and in other cases still it gets stuck open.

What to Do

The best possible way to ensure that you never run into any issues from your thermostat is to make replacing it every couple of years a habit! A good rule of thumb is when you go for your bi-annual coolant flush, have the thermostat replaced as well! MotoRad has the OEM parts that you need!

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