Many drivers will find themselves in need of auto repairs that involve their thermostat.  Often, a person feeling comfortable with home mechanic work will replace a bad thermostat themselves.  This is a relatively cheap part to purchase and only requires about 30 minutes to replace. It isn’t a terribly difficult task if you follow this advice and follow basic home auto safety tips.

Let’s start with the things you need to have on hand before you get started on changing the thermostat.  You will need a flat head screwdriver, nut driver, or ratchet for removing the hose clamps and likely the thermostat housing bolts.  Be sure to make sure you have the right sized tools before you start too.  You will need some work rags and a receptacle or drip pan for catching fluids. You may need a little coolant on hand to replace the fluids you lose during the repair. You may find it helpful to have a flat scraper when removing the old gasket as well.  And of course, you will need your new thermostat and gasket.

Thermostat Removal

First you will need to determine the location of the thermostat. Nearly all of them can be found on the top of your radiator hose.  Occasionally you see one that is mounted on the bottom though. Place your drip pan under the area you will be working on to catch any fluids that come out when you disconnect things. Use the tools we discussed to disconnect the top radiator hose from the engine. Once loose, gently remove it off the engine allowing any drips to fall into your receptacle below. Next you will remove the thermostat housing bolts. These are the bolts keeping the thermostat in place. Once the housing bolts are off, you can remove the housing and lift that thermostat right out.

New Thermostat Installation

There will most often be pieces of the old gasket sticking to the area you just pulled the thermostat from.  I suggest using one of your work rags to plug the hole and use your flat scraper to scrape the portions of old gasket away. You want this area as clean as possible before proceeding.  Once you’ve done this, you will set the new gasket you purchased in place.  Now you can install the thermostat.  Be sure that the thermostat’s power unit is pointing toward the block.  Once positioned properly, replace the housing and bolts you removed earlier.  Make sure that you have a tight fit. Next you need to reattach the radiator hose and clamp you disconnected. Last, determine how much coolant needs to be replaced to bring the water or coolant level back to full.

It is that simple!  Cost efficient and able to be done right in your driveway.  We pride ourselves on educating our customers on ways to save money and safely perform auto repairs…and if you can’t do it or don’t have the time, just bring your automobile in to Sanford’s Automotive Service in Columbia, SC.  We always do it right the first time.