If you drive a car, truck, or utility vehicle that is 10 years old or older, the thermostat is likely to go bad sooner rather than later. DOC Auto is going to list the signs of a faulty thermostat below. You may experience all of these signs or just a couple of them. Either way, it’s important to bring your vehicle to our shop as soon as possible to prevent your engine from overheating constantly. This will happen if the thermostat is no longer functioning properly.
Minor Coolant Leak
Older thermostats can spring minor leaks that leave them corroded. Usually, what happens is that the valve that opens and closes to release the coolant into the engine gets stuck in the closed position. The coolant will seep out of the closed valve and pool around the thermostat. The wet coolant will begin to rust the thermostat and eat away at the metal. Unfortunately, you may not realize you have a minor coolant leak unless you inspect your thermostat regularly to make sure it is not corroding.
Major Coolant Leak
You will know that you have a major coolant leak because it will leave coolant on your garage floor. Engine coolant comes in many different colors, including green, red, yellow, and orange. You can check the color of your engine coolant when the engine is cold. If you have spots or puddles of the same color on the garage floor, it’s possible that the thermostat has sprung quite a leak. You will need to replace the thermostat as soon as possible to restore the coolant levels in the cooling system.
Aside from leaking, car thermostats can also malfunction and when they do, the temperature gauge on your dashboard will move up and down. This is a sign that the thermostat is no longer able to release the coolant into the engine when the engine needs it. It’s possible that the thermostat is not reading the engine’s temperature correctly or the valve is malfunctioning. Either way, your temperatures will fluctuate between hot and cold while you drive your automobile.
Finally, if your engine is overheating constantly, this is a sign that it is not getting any coolant. It’s possible that the thermostat has died and is not releasing coolant into the engine. It is also possible that the coolant levels are too low because of the thermostat leaks discussed above.
DOC Auto is the best auto service shop in Fredericksburg, VA, so call us today to schedule an appointment for your automobile if you suspect the thermostat has gone bad.