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Signs My Car’s Thermostat Is Going Bad or Has Failed Completely

Your car, truck, utility vehicle, or van’s thermostat is responsible for releasing coolant into the engine once it starts to get too hot. This temperature gauge can go bad after about 10 years, so if you drive an older automobile, it’s a good idea to know the signs that the thermostat is having problems. Accurate Auto lists these signs below.

Odd Temperature Gauge Readings

Your temperature gauge should register cold when you first start your car and slowly build up to normal as the engine warms up. If the temperature gauge is reading lower or higher than normal, it’s possible that there’s a problem with the thermostat. If your car is overheating all the time, the thermostat likely is not releasing coolant into the engine to reduce the engine’s temperature.

Air Temperature Changes

The thermostat can also affect the temperature of the air that flows into your vehicle through the vents. If the air temperature goes from hot to cold or cold to hot, this is a sign that your thermostat is not working properly. Oftentimes, these temperature changes are erratic and sudden. It’s important to have your vehicle inspected when you experience these interior temperature changes.

Coolant Leaks

Oftentimes when the thermostat fails, it remains in its closed position. As the engine overheats, coolant will overflow out of the thermostat housing. This means that coolant leaking out of your engine could be a sign that your thermostat has gone bad. It can also be a sign that you have a problem with your radiator hoses, the radiator itself, or the seals and gaskets.

Strange Sounds

Another sign that your thermostat is going bad is strange sounds. You may hear rumbling sounds coming from the engine, and these sounds could be coming from the radiator because the coolant is boiling. It may also sound like boiling or knocking. Sometimes the sound can also be gurgling. All of these things point to a problem in your cooling system.

Heater Problems

Finally, if your thermostat is stuck in the open position, no matter how high you turn up the heater in your automobile, you won’t get hot air blowing through the vents. You may not notice this problem right now since we’re quickly heading into summer, but if you did have problems with your heater last winter, bring your vehicle into our shop for an inspection.

Accurate Auto has an auto service shop in Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego, OR. Choose the one that is closest to you and schedule a thermostat inspection.

Photo by ooiphotoo from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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