Why is there a thermostat in my vehicle?
The thermostat is a vital part of your vehicle's engine as it helps regulate the amount of coolant liquid that circulates back into the engine.
What does the thermostat do?
Since the thermostat's purpose is to keep the engine cool and running at the correct temperature, what happens is that when your engine is working it starts to heat up and when it gets too hot, the thermostat kicks in and opens up to let the coolant liquid flow through the radiator, cooling down the engine.
What the thermostat looks like and how it works
It is a cylinder attached to the side of the thermostatic device and is filled with a type of wax that melts slowly at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. A rod in the center of the valve engages the wax as it melts which in turn pushes the rod out of the cylinder and the rod opens the valve that allows the coolant to flow to the radiator. Naturally, when the engine is turned off, the reverse happens and the wax becomes more solid as the rod returns to its state inside the cylinder.
Problems that may be encountered with a thermostat in your car
- Overheating: Your temperature gauge shoots up almost immediately after starting your car. Especially if it goes straight into the red, it means you need to check your thermostat functionality immediately with a professional mechanic.
- Fluctuating temperatures: After starting the engine and driving for a while, the temperature fluctuates, going up and down could mean there is a problem in the engine somewhere and it would also need immediate attention.
- The thermostat system has a crack or is broken: The coolant liquid has leaked out or is busy leaking out and this means you need to take the vehicle to a mechanic as fast as possible as an overheated engine can cause much more serious damage.
If you suspect your cooling system is faulty or needs to be checked, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today.