How To Check Your Vehicle’s Thermostat

Engine Thermostat Testing Tips and Tricks For Better Temp Control

Maintaining the temperature in your car engine can be crucial since it can cause damage if the temperature is too high or too low. The thermostat in your vehicle determines the temperature that circulates in your vehicle’s system. Make sure to have it on a regulated level otherwise, it can cause issues in your overall vehicle function. Learn more information about car thermostats to avoid your car from overheating.

Steps on How to know if your car thermostat is working

  1. Make sure you have your car on ground level and your radiator and engine are cool. 
  2. Start the engine of your car and put it on idle. 
  3. Open the hood of your car then locate the thermostat. To be able to locate it follow the radiator stat on the engine since the end of the hose is attached to the thermostat housing.
  4. You can now start testing your thermostat by removing the radiator cap so you can check the coolant flow. Start the engine of the car again and put it on idle. Then peep on the radiator filler neck and check if the coolant flows. By that time it should not flow because the temperature is not high enough to make the thermostat open. 
  5. If you observe that the coolant is flowing then it means the thermostat has opened. This is an indication that your thermostat is not functioning well anymore. 

Steps on How to know if your car thermostat is working, If your Radiator cap is Not Accessible

  1. Make sure you have your car on ground level and your radiator and engine are cool. 
  2. Start the engine of your car and put it on idle. 
  3. With the aid of a cooking thermometer or hydrometer, you can check the temperature from the engine block and the upper engine hose. Attached is the end of the hose to the housing of the thermostat. 
  4. Let 10 minutes pass then do another reading. Compared to the previous reading. 
  5. Repeat it after 10 minutes then keep on comparing it with the previous reading. There should be an increase in the temperature on the engine block while the temperature on the upper radiator hose should be the same. Otherwise, if there are no changes in the temperatures then it means your thermostat is stuck.

What causes the thermostat to fail?

There are several causes of thermostat malfunction:

Overheating of Engine 

If you notice too much increase on the temperature gauge then that’s a sign that your car is overheating. You should be able to tell if your temperature is already high and not wait for your car to overheat. This means your thermostat is not working well since it didn’t give you the right signal. 

Fluctuations in Temperature Gauge 

When you notice the arrow suddenly going up and down all of a sudden then that means that the thermostat is not working well since it can determine if it has to close or open. It can not detect the proper temperature 

Coolant Leaking

If you check your engine and you find the coolant around the thermostat housing then it is a sign that the thermostat is malfunctioning. Due to this, the coolant can not flow properly because the thermostat fails to open. 

Temperature Warning Popping Light on the Dash

If your thermostat light indicator is popping and yet your car seems fine, it can be an indication that your thermostat is not working well. Have your mechanic check if there are any inconsistencies in your vehicle function to make sure about the issues. 

Being able to know how to check your vehicle’s thermostat can at least give you a heads up that there is an issue in your car. By doing so you will know when to have them checked by your mechanic. As the car owner, it will be wise if you have knowledge in a basic way to check on the part of your vehicle if they are functioning well. Be aware of the signs and indicators. Since not addressing the issues immediately can lead to more damages as well as unsafe driving for you. So be a responsible vehicle owner and educate yourself on the basics of knowing when your thermostat and other parts of your car need a repair or a check-up.