Your thermostat is an important component in your vehicle as it's responsible for regulating the temperature within your car's engine. It's a part of your car's cooling system. The thermostat is capable of managing your engine's temperature as it limits the coolant flow that travels to the radiator from the engine. The thermostat is not a complicated part, and the process is easy to understand, but it's responsible for an extremely important job, so make sure you repair any thermostat issues immediately.
Where the Thermostat is Located
In most vehicles, there's a thermostat housing which keeps the thermostat guarded properly. You can find the thermostat housing placed at the top of your radiator hose where it connects to your vehicle's engine. The actual thermostat is secured within the housing device.
What the Thermostat Housing Does
As previously mentioned, the thermostat housing is used to guard the thermostat. It's just a plastic piece that covers the thermostat safely. When your engine starts to get hot, and the coolant warms up, your thermostat valve will open. There's a thermal element filled with wax which is sealed but expands once the engine gets hotter so the valve is able to open. The valve will open once a certain temperature is reached, generally just below 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The preset temperature for the valve to open will usually be labeled on the thermostat valve.
If a vehicle begins to overheat, the thermostat can tell the driver that the temperature is starting to get too high. The thermostat can also keep the driver reminded of what the most effective temperature is for the car while being driven.
Thermostat Housing Problems
The thermostat housing must protect the thermostat at all times for it to work properly and prevent your vehicle from overheating. If your thermostat housing gets cracked or even slightly damaged, you must replace it. Take your thermostat housing out immediately and install a new one if your current one is damaged. If you need to replace your thermostat, the thermostat housing will need to be removed in order to access the thermostat unit.
Guide to Remove the Thermostat Housing
It's not a difficult job to remove your thermostat housing, so replacing your thermostat, or the housing unit, will be easy. Before you start the guide, you must make sure you drain your car's cooling system. The cooling system may not completely drain and some coolant may drain when you release the thermostat housing, but that’s fine, just try to keep a bucket to catch all the coolant.
There's a plastic fan located between your car's engine and radiator. This will need to be removed right away. Just remove the belt so you can access the plastic fan and unscrew it to take it out. Now you have access to the two hoses which connect to the thermostat housing. Just unscrew the metal rings which connect the hoses to the housing and take them off. Make sure you don't lose the screws as they’ll be needed to re-attach the hoses.
There will be multiple bolts that you have to unscrew. The first one (13mm) is located above the thermostat housing, but this one should only be loosened. The next four bolts are what attach the thermostat housing to your car's engine block; these need to be unscrewed and removed. Apply minimal pressure on the housing to unseal it so you can remove it without it falling out by itself.
Once you have detached the thermostat housing, you have direct access to the thermostat. If it's just the thermostat housing that needs to be replaced, you can quickly install a new housing unit and connect it back with the pieces you took out. Removing or replacing a thermostat housing unit isn't a difficult task and even someone with no mechanical experience should be able to do it.