Symptoms of a failing thermostat to be aware of


The role of the thermostat in your car’s engine is to ensure it achieves the operating temperatures as fast as possible. It controls the flow of the coolant as it enters and leaves the engine, and the temperature sensor records the temperature and displays it on the dashboard.

When you have a faulty thermostat, the engine will not run at optimal temperature, and it is likely to overheat, leading to costly damage. You may also notice a shifting temperature on the dashboard, which is not a good sign. The following symptoms of a failing thermostat give a warning sign so that you can take the necessary measures.

Temperature fluctuations

One of the indicators of a faulty thermostat is temperature fluctuations. Usually, the thermostat gate is perfectly timed to ensure that the engine gets the coolant at the right temperature to prevent overheating. When the timing is inaccurate, the temperature gauge responds abnormally, resulting in temperature fluctuations. This issue could also result from an electrical fault or air in the coolant system, but you should not overlook the thermostat.

Overheating engine

An overheating engine signals different issues, one of which is a faulty thermostat. For instance, when the thermostat is closed, the coolant cannot get to the radiator; therefore, the engine cannot cool down. That leads to an overheating engine with an ascending temperature display in the ticker on your dashboard. Your car may not run even for 10 minutes before it overheats, which is why you should consider a thermostat replacement.

Leakages or steam emanating from the engine

When you drive your car with a faulty thermostat, the hot coolant in the engine coolant unit always finds a way to escape due to the high pressure. When water boils, it forms steam which rises from the engine. You may also experience leaks because the coolant heats up and attacks the weak points thanks to the high pressure. A leak is easier to detect, and you should call a professional to inspect the system and replace the thermostat.

Rising temperature

Another indicator of a faulty thermostat is the rising temperature. When the thermostat flap is closed, it prevents coolant from escaping to the radiator. Consequently, the coolant heats up and transforms into steam. On the other hand, the coolant inside the radiator remains unchanged hence the rising temperature. When you experience rising temperatures and notice that the radiator tank is filled with water, that signifies a failing thermostat. It also indicates that the car is about to overheat, and you should call a professional to check it.

Heater fluctuations

If your car’s thermostat doesn’t do its job correctly, you will likely experience temperature fluctuations in the car heater since the coolant warms up the heat inside the vehicle. Heater fluctuations result because the thermostat is not doing its job of maintaining a steady one.

The bottom line

A thermostat is an essential engine element and contributes to your car’s efficient operation. If it is faulty, you will experience problems like an overheating engine, temperature fluctuations, and leakages in the engine, which you should address immediately.

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