Symptoms of Bad Car Thermostat

Thermostat for car

 

Your car thermostat is a critical part that keeps your car running smoothly. A bad car thermostat can damage your engine and cost you thousands of dollars.

This is why it’s important to know the signs of a bad car thermostat that isn’t working how it should.

In this post, we review the symptoms of a bad car thermostat so you can know the signs and get it fixed right away.

 

Symptoms of a broken car thermostat:

  • Overheating
  • Under Heating
  • Temperature Fluctuations
  • Poor Engine Performance

Keep reading for explanations on these symptoms.

 

Car engine with thermostatHow a car thermostat works

A vehicle thermostat regulates the flow of coolant flowing to the engine.

Here’s how it works: When the engine has been sitting for a while and is not warm, the thermostat will be closed. When the engine is running and has reached the operating temperature, a sensor will cause it to open. This allows coolant to and from the radiator, decreasing the temperature so it can be recirculated through the engine again.

This constant flow keeps your engine functioning at the correct temperature and prevents overheating.

 

Overheating

Because your thermostat controls temperature of fluids from the radiator hose, a bad thermostat will cause your car to overheat.

When the engine temperature has reached the operating level, it should allow coolant to flow to the engine and regulate the heat. If the thermostat becomes stuck in the closed position, antifreeze doesn’t flow from the radiator, causing overheating.

This problem can be caused by other issues, such as leaking hoses, but if you’re car is overheating, be sure to have the thermostat checked.

 

Temperature guageUnder Heating

When the thermostat becomes locked in the open setting, it will lead to engine under heating. This will cause the coolant to constantly move into the engine whether it is hot enough to need it. This will cause the engine to run too cool.

If you drive your vehicle for longer than a few minutes and the needle on the temperature gauge never seems to go up, you should check your thermostat.

 

Temperature Fluctuation

If you notice your engine temperature changing erratically, this could very well be caused by a malfunctioning thermostat.  The issue with the thermostat is not that is stuck in the open or close position, but that it cannot read the temperature correctly and regulate the temperature like it should.

 

Poor Engine Performance

When your engine temperature is running too high, too low, or constantly fluctuating erratically, the engine performance will suffer. You may notice your gas mileage seems lower than usual. Over time, this can become damaging to the engine and expensive to fix.

 

Thermostat for car

What to do if you notice these symptoms

If you are noticing these issues, you should check your car’s thermostat or have a professional look at it for you.

For many do-it-yourself types, it is not too difficult to remove and test the thermostat yourself.

If you would like us to check your thermostat, call 815-485-8411

 

Need a reliable repair shop you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

 

Top Check Engine Light Causes

Check Engine Light

Is your check engine light on? Then it is time to visit the auto repair shop

Sometimes when the light comes on, people want to avoid getting the car looked at because they’re afraid of an expensive repair bill.

The problem is, the longer you put off that repair, the worse the damage can get and the more expensive your repair bill will end up being.

You’ll need to get that check engine light turned off anyway, or your vehicle won’t be able to pass the Illinois vehicle emissions test.

 

Why is my check engine light on?

If your check engine light is on, it’s usually one of five most common reasons. We’ll expand that list a little further to cover the top ten most common causes of your engine light turning on. The chances are very high that one of the items on this list is causing your issue.

 

Most common reasons check engine light is on

  • Check Engine LightGas Cap
  • Oxygen Sensor
  • Catalytic Converter
  • Mass Airflow Sensor
  • Spark Plug or Spark Plug Wiring
  • EVAP Purge Control Valve
  • EVAP Purge Solenoid
  • Ignition Coils
  • Thermostat

 

How much will it cost to fix my check engine light issue?

Gas Cap – A loose gas cap is one of the most common reasons why the check engine light turns on. Sometimes the cap will need to be replaced, but this won’t be an expensive fix. Will cost around $20.

Oxygen Sensor – The oxygen sensor is the part that monitors unburned oxygen from the exhaust and how much fuel is burned. A faulty sensor means it’s not providing the right data to the computer and causes a decrease in gas mileage. This will cost on average around $200, but if it’s not fixed, it can harm the catalytic converter and then you’ll have a really expensive bill.

Catalytic Converter – This is one of the most common issues and the list, and unfortunately, also the most expensive. It will cost in the range of $1,200 or more. We hope you’ll be able to get your engine checked before it damages the catalytic converter. Normally it will last the life of your car, unless you ignore other issues.

Mass Airflow Sensor – The mass air flow sensor controls the flow of air coming into your car’s engine, which determines how much fuel to inject into the engine. An issue with it can hurt your fuel economy by 10%-25%. It will cost on average $350-$400.

Spark Plug or Spark Plug Wiring – When spark plugs fail, they can cause the engine to misfire and hurt gas mileage. Ignoring issues with spark plugs can result in permanent damage to your catalytic converter. If only the spark plugs need replacing, it can be easy and cheap to do it yourself. If you have to go to a mechanic and also replace wiring, it can cost $200-$300

EVAP Purge Control Valve – This valve prevents vapors from the gas tank from being released into the atmosphere and channels them into a charcoal canister to be burned in the engine. Replacing it can cause $175-$200.

EVAP Purge Solenoid – The solenoid is another part of the EVAP system that controls how much fuel vapor escapes into the atmosphere. It will wear out over time and it will cost around $200 to replace.

Ignition Coils – Ignition coils are used to provide an ignition source for the fuel to combust in an engine. The average cost to replace ignition coils will be around $250.

Thermostat – The thermostat is responsible for regulating the engine coolant temperature to warm and cool your vehicle. This may cost $200-$250 to replace.

 

Need a mechanic you can trust?

Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. We provide collision repair, dent removal, mechanical repairairbag replacement, and auto body painting in the local area to customers from New Lenox, Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan and other southwest Chicagoland cities. Contact us or get an online estimate.

Call Today: (815) 485-8411

 

Image: Check engine light photo by Wikiuser100000 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported