How Long Does it Take to Change a Thermostat in a Car?

How Long Does it Take to Change a Thermostat in a Car

You’ve been driving along the highway for many hours and suddenly, you realize that the temperature reading on your vehicle’s dashboard is heading towards the upper level, which indicates that it is overheating. What do you do?

Many times, it can be due to a number of factors including a faulty thermostat. How do you then change the thermostat if it is the culprit behind the overheating of your car? How long does it take to change a thermostat in a car?

Ideally, it takes 1 to  2 hours to change a thermostat in a car, however, it has to be done by an experienced technician. 

Can You Change a Thermostat in a Car?

Yes, it is possible to change the thermostat in a car. A thermostat is equipment in a car that performs a regulatory function. It has two major functions. One is to allow the engine to get heated enough to the required temperature. The second is to maintain the specified temperature of the engine.

In cars, thermostats usually control the amount of coolant that flows into the radiator. It performs this regulation with the aid of a valve. The valve of a thermostat is closed and opened with a thermal device, a piston, or a spring.

How Long Does It Take to Change a Thermostat in a Car?

Generally, it takes 1 – 2 hours for a thermostat in a car to be replaced by a mechanic. A mechanic is a professional so the person knows what to do and how to do it.

For non – professionals, it will most likely take longer to replace a car thermostat. It all depends on the level of skill or expertise of the person replacing the thermostat.

Why Should You Change Your Thermostat?

As thermostats are very important in the working of your car’s engine, you need to ensure proper maintenance of these devices.

Thermostats are very “gentle” devices they do not make a lot of noise and wear out over time but if you notice that the thermostat in your is not working, you need to have it replaced as soon as possible.

In some cases when you’re having cooling system maintenance on your car, it is advised that you change your thermostat to improve the overall functioning of your car.

Anytime you are replacing the radiator, gasket, or any major equipment in your car’s cooling system, you should ask the auto repair service if you need to change your thermostat also.

The major reason you need to change your thermostat is for it to perform its normal working operation perfectly.

Anytime you suspect that your car overheats, check on the thermostat. It could be that it has stopped closing and opening as it should.

This could be a major problem because going by the function of a thermostat, if the thermostat remains closed, it will prevent coolant from getting into the engine and that will lead to overheating.

If it remains open, excess coolant will flow into the engine and hinder the engine from reaching its optimal performance due to the temperature.

You need to change your car’s bad thermostat when you notice that the cabin heater can not produce an adequate amount of warm air anymore.

Furthermore, you need to change the thermostat if you notice that the check engine light is on. It could be caused by a faulty thermostat. Actually, a faulty thermostat is definitely not the only probable reason that the check engine light is on.

A very important reason you should change your thermostat is overheating. If your car overheats, it could mean that the thermostat is not working properly.

Overheating is very harmful to your car’s engine because the valve, gasket, hose, and other equipment in the cooling system can get damaged and it will affect the entire engine.

Replacing the engine is very expensive nowadays. It will cost you a lot to repair or replace so why not take preventive measures or early adaptive measures to protect your engine by replacing the thermostat.

Can I Change the Thermostat Myself?

Some people love DIY (Do–It–Yourself) and that’s completely understandable. I mean, why spend money on something you can do yourself?

A lot of people reading this right now are probably wondering how to replace the thermostat in their car themselves.

Worry no more, a detailed guide on how to replace the thermostat in your car is outlined in subsequent paragraphs.

The thermostat is usually placed close to the water pump around the cylinder head, in many cars. It is housed by an obvious metal and that housing is attached to the radiator hose above it.

It is not uncommon to see the thermostat’s housing attached to the bottom radiator hose in many other cars.

Before you replace any item in the engine (including the thermostat), you need to test it. So, test the thermostat by turning on the car and placing your hand on the radiator hose to which the thermostat is attached.

Do not forget to avoid the fan. You want to avoid any form of an accident during this process. Follow the steps below to replace your car thermostat efficiently.

  • Locate the exact position of the thermostat under the hood
  • Put something underneath that will collect the fluid that will be dropping e.g., a bucket.
  • Detach the clamp protecting the thermostat
  • At this point, remove the radiator hose from the thermostat. It is normal for some fluid to leak into a bucket underneath.
  • Remove the hose now
  • Detach the bolts on the thermostat housing and pull out the old thermostat.
  • Install the new gasket.
  • Install the new thermostat
  • Put the hose back in place

These are the steps to follow to replace a car thermostat.

Who Should I Call to Change the Thermostat?

A mechanic is the best person that can replace your car’s thermostat for you. If you have a personal mechanic that you trust, you can always contact the person to help you with changing your thermostat.

However, if you do not know any mechanic and you need the thermostat of your car changed by a professional, you can check the directory in your locality (city, state, area) to find reliable auto-service workshops where you can have your thermostat replaced.

What Should You Do After Changing the Thermostat?

When you change the thermostat in your car, you need to refill and bleed the cooling system. What a mechanic or you (as the case may be) should do when a change of thermostat is done is to make sure that the pockets of air are totally eliminated from the cooling system. This is to prevent overheating in the engine.

The next thing is to refill the antifreeze. There is no need to cover the radiator bac so leave it open and switch on the ignition. Give it time to allow the antifreeze to circulate properly in the engine.

Final Thoughts

Replacing a car thermostat is not an arduous task at all. All you need is skill and precision. When you have both, it will not take you more than 2 hours maximum to replace a car thermostat!