The thermostat in your car, SUV, pickup, or van does one thing. It does it quite well, however. In simple terms, it helps prevent your engine from overheating. How it does that is less simple.
How Automotive Thermostats Work
The thermostat is just a valve. It features a wax that expands as the engine temperature rises. When it expands enough, the valve opens to allow coolant to flow from the radiator to the engine. The coolant works its way through the engine, collecting heat before returning to the radiator. The heat is then safely dispersed into the air via the radiator's large, flat, finned surface.
How to Spot Thermostat Problems
The good news is that thermostat failure is extremely rare. However, it can happen. Signs that your thermostat is going bad include:
- Overheating engine
- Problems with your HVAC
- Your "Check Engine" warning light comes on
- Your engine runs less efficiently
Genuine OEM Thermostats Perform Best
One easy way to monitor your thermostat's condition is to check the temperature gauge. If the needle is constantly in the center, or even reading slightly cold, you're in good shape. If it's running to the hot range, inspect your thermostat to see if it's at fault. If you do need to replace your thermostat, get the right one for your vehicle. Thermostats made by your manufacturer are guaranteed to be compatible with your model, ensuring the easy replacement and guaranteed performance you want. Search our online auto parts catalog for yours, complete your order, and we'll get it shipped out in no time at all!
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