How To Change A Thermostat In A Car

How To Change A Thermostat In A Car

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  1. How To Change A Thermostat In A Car


    If your car is running too hot, there are a couple of potential causes.  A hose may be dry rotting, or have a hole in it, leaking antifreeze, which makes your car overheat.  Or, most likely, the cause is simply a faulty car thermostat.  Do not panic- replacing a car thermostat is an inexpensive and easy fix that anyone can do.  In this article, you will learn just how easy it is to replace your car thermostat. 


    What You Will Need:

    • Rags
    • Wrenches or sockets with appropriate wrench
    • Flathead screwdriver
    • Razor blade
    • Sandpaper
    • New thermostat with gasket
    • Gasket sealant
    • Small pan to catch spilled antifreeze
    • Antifreeze


    To Install Car Thermostat:

    Step 1:  Visit your local auto parts store to purchase a car thermostat, gasket and sealant for your car’s make, model and year.

    Step 2:  Once you get home, let your car cool down for at least twenty minutes.  Then, place the pan under your car, under the area where the car thermostat sits, towards the very front of the car.  Remove your car’s radiator cap.  Place a rag on the cap, and turn slightly.  Listen for the hissing sound- that is the sound of the pressure releasing.  When it stops, you can remove the cap safely.

    Step 3:  Disconnect the battery using either the flathead screwdriver or the appropriate wrench or socket, depending on the type of connections you have.

    Step 4:  Remove the upper radiator hose from the car thermostat housing on the top of the engine by using the flathead screwdriver to loosen the clamp.

    Step 5: The car thermostat housing should have one bolt on each side.  Remove the housing using your wrench or socket wrench. 

    Step 6:  Remove the car thermostat.  With the razor blade and sandpaper, clean the remains of the old gasket off the car thermostat housing and base where it sits.  Be sure both surfaces are clean so they seal well, preventing leaks.

    Step 7:  Put the new car thermostat in the hole in the engine block.

    Step 8:  Place gasket sealant on the engine where the car thermostat housing fits.  Place gasket on top of sealant, being certain to line up the bolt holes.  Then place more sealant on the housing where it meets with the gasket.  Replace the car thermostat housing, and tightly bolt into place.

    Step 9:  Reconnect the radiator hose to the car thermostat housing, tightening the clamp securely.

    Step 10:  Reconnect the battery.

    Step 11:  Read the gasket sealant package to learn how long it will take to dry.  Once dry, start your car, and check for leaks.  Check coolant level, and add more antifreeze as needed.  Do not overfill.  Be careful not to spill antifreeze- it is a dangerous chemical.  Many pets and other small animals will drink antifreeze due to its sweet taste, and this could kill them.


    By following the simple steps above, you can replace your car thermostat easily in no time.  Just be sure to fix the car thermostat as soon as possible after discovering your car is overheating!  This simple, inexpensive little part could lead to trouble if ignored for too long by allowing your car to run at too high of a temperature!

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