As coolant flows through the engine, it picks up excess heat. This can confuse the system and cause it to display incorrect readings. It opens and closes based on the temperature. Optional Information: 2004 Nissan mixima 3.5. If the thermostat is not functioning correctly, the engine has no way to cool itself down. Fortunately, car thermostat replacement is easy enough. One of the main components in charge of regulating how hot or cold it gets is the thermostat. Michael, Auto Service Technician. Once the engine coolant is hot enough, then the thermostat opens to allow the coolant to go to the radiator. Otherwise, a shop will handle it for you for between $200-$300. As the name suggests, it “compresses” the refrigerant so that it turns from a gaseous state into a liquid state. Imagine going out for a long hike on a hot summer day only to find out you didn’t bring any water. By this point, the engine shouldn’t be hot enough for coolant to be necessary, so it shouldn’t be flowing. Answered in 20 minutes by: 2/4/2006. If it’s not, it should match with a rising temperature gauge shown on the instrument panel. ­­The thermostat's main job is to allow the engine to heat up quickly, and then to keep the engine at a constant temperature. A car engine works much the same way, averaging between 195-220°F. In case the engine coolant is cold, the thermostats will upkeep its locked state. When coolant temperature rises to the engine's ideal, the thermostat valve opens to send coolant through the radiator in order to maintain that temperature. Simply put, it responds to temperature changes in the engine coolant. A car thermostat is installed on a car engine and regulates the engine temperature by opening to allow coolant from the radiator to flow through the engine, cooling it down, then closing again to allow the engine to warm up to operating temperature. How does a thermostat work? There’s no way you could continue for long. Anything that disrupts this balance of opening and closing of the thermostat valves can result in symptoms that indicate the need for proper servicing, replacement, or maintenance of the thermostat. Here's a walkthrough on how to replace a thermostat. This happens when the thermostat gets stuck closed, not allowing hot coolant to cool down in the radiator. This cycle repeats itself as you drive, keeping your engine at its optimal temperature for driving. Let’s now look at a few of the most common signs that suggest your thermostat needs attention. Make sure that you obtain the correct replacement by checking the serial number on the unit. Once the engine coolant is blistering adequately; the thermostat unsealed to permit the coolant to move to the radiator. Your vehicle's thermostat opens to allow coolant to flow through the radiator and cool the engine down. The other possibility is that the valve is stuck closed. Once … No worries, because in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the automotive thermostat. Once it leaves the engine, it goes to the radiator, where that excess heat is removed. How thermostats work. Source | Hoikka1. Then, find and remove the radiator cap, and look inside to see if there’s any coolant flowing. High Oil Pressure – Main Causes and Treatment, Does Your Car Make A Rattling Noise When Accelerating? Category: Car. Once this heated coolant comes in contact with the wax-filled cylinder, it causes the wax to melt and expand. One of the main components in charge of regulating how hot or cold it gets is the thermostat. By letting the engine warm up as quickly as possible, the … Too much heat for too long, and you can end up with a cracked engine block or blown head gasket (basically the two worst-case scenarios). This device acts as your temp sensor. Still not sure? Including what it is, how it works, and how to tell if it’s not operating correctly. A car’s thermostat regulates the flow of coolant through the engine and is an essential part in the operation of your vehicle. Another sign that your thermostat is malfunctioning is if you see orange or green puddles of liquid under your car. What a Vehicle Thermostat Does. The compressor connects to the crankshaft via a drive belt. One of the more obvious signs that something inside your cooling system is malfunctioning is a drop in fuel economy. Its job is to block the flow of coolant to the radiator until the engine has warmed up. A thermostat ensures that the car's cooling system is functioning efficiently and prevents the engine from getting too hot. The fact is that for its functionality the machine must be equipped with an on-board computer. It takes a greater amount of time to warm up the engine. The valves are shut tight to restrict the movement of the coolant when the engine starts. Once the temperature drops, the spring returns the main valve to its closed position. If this symptom matches with any of the others on this list, it may be time to check the thermostat. Ask Your Own Car Question. If the engine coolant is cold, then the thermostat maintains its closed position. When the thermostat is closed the coolant is kept in the engine. It then makes a few more stops along its way through the cooling system and ends up back in the engine. Size aside, the thermostat in your car has a vital job to perform. How Do Car Thermostats Work The magic of your car thermostat is the tiny cylinder (with a rod connected to the coolant valve) placed at the engine-side. At low temperatures, the outlet to the radiator is completely blocked -- all of the coolant is recirculated back through the engine. replace thermostatwhat temp thermostatis my thermostat badbad thermostat It is filled with a wax pellet that melts when the temperature reaches around 1800F. A thermostat is a valve in the cooling system that closes when coolant temperatures are low, in order to recycle coolant through the motor and bring it up to the ideal temperature. Any liquid-cooled car engine has a small device called the thermostat that sits between the engine and the radiator. How To Fix And Start Your Car. While it may be small in size (fits in the palm of your hand), the job it performs is crucial for your engine to stay within a safe operating temperature. The system works "on the machine". Basically, the thermostat regulates the temperature of water/coolant in an engine. Car engines need an optimal temperature range, which is 194°F or 90°C, to function effectively. When this happens, you’ll notice a drop in engine performance as it struggles to keep up. How Thermostats Work. The average human body sits at about 98.6°F, if it’s just a few degrees higher, it suggests something is off. Thermostats have a wax filled copper housing or cup called a "heat motor" that pushes the thermostat open against spring pressure. One of these vital elements is a thermostat, which enables the car engine to work at an optimum temperature by regulating the flow of coolant. How does the thermostat in a car's cooling system work? When it opens, the coolant is then able to circulate. Of course, everybody knows that an overheating engine is bad news but most people probably don't realise that engines HATE the cold. We invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today! When it is cold, you turn your heater on and when it is hot, you turn the air conditioner on to cool you down. It consists of a wax-filled cylinder, two valves-main and by-pass, and a spring. How Does it Work? As you might have guessed, an engine that’s running on hot coolant won’t be able to cool down, meaning it’s at risk of overheating. 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