What Does a Dying Car Thermostat Do?

If your automobile is older than 10 years, the thermostat has reached the end of its lifespan. Trinity Auto Care advises that you can expect to get about a decade out of the factory-installed thermostat. After this time, the thermostat can begin to leak and malfunction. When these things happen, it creates temperature problems for your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s engine. As such, it’s important to have the faulty thermostat replaced as soon as possible to avoid engine damage. Let’s talk more about this below.

Thermostat Corrosion

The thermostat can corrode if coolant is puddling around it. As the thermostat ages, the valve it opens and closes to release and hold engine coolant can fail. If the valve gets stuck in the closed position, the engine coolant will slowly leak out of it and pool around the thermostat. When this happens, the thermostat will begin to corrode and this can cause it to develop an even bigger leak.

Leaking Engine Coolant

Once the thermostat develops a bigger leak, you will see coolant on your garage floor. Coolant comes in many colors, including green, yellow, red, and orange. You can determine the color of the coolant in your engine by looking at the overflow reservoir for the radiator when the engine is cold. This container is see-through and will show the coolant’s color. If you have fluid spots on the garage floor of the same color, your vehicle’s engine is leaking coolant possibly from the thermostat or another cooling system part.

Temperature Changes

As the thermostat ages, it might also start to malfunction. It may become unable to determine the engine’s temperature correctly, and, as a consequence, it will release coolant at odd times. For example, the thermostat may think the engine is overheating and flood it with coolant. The engine will run too cold as a result. It may also fail to release the coolant when the engine is starting to get too hot. You may also see your temperature gauge moving up and down erratically as the thermostat opens and closes the valve erratically.

Overheating Engine

Naturally, this will cause your engine to overheat when you drive your automobile. An overheating engine can become damaged very quickly, especially if you allow it to get so hot that the radiator cap bursts. Don’t drive your automobile if the engine is overheating.

Call Trinity Auto Care in Blaine or White Bear Lake, MN, today if your vehicle is experiencing any of the problems we have discussed above. We can replace the thermostat if it needs it.

Photo by ooiphotoo from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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