When Should a Car Thermostat be Replaced?
Thermostats are not expensive, and should be replaced every so often, about to replace one in my Ford Fusion. There is no recommended changing interval and it does not have to be replaced but it is good preventive maintenance to get it done. Thermostats can get clogged especially if coolant was not replaced during scheduled times, over time it will also wear out due to use. My Ford Fusion currently has a little over 100,000 miles, need to have coolant changed anyways. While replacing the coolant why not replace the cheap thermostat while at it. The thermostat at the Ford dealer was $30 dollars with $10 for the gasket that is much less then parts and labor to fix an overheated engine. Always try to get original parts from a local dealer.
Below are three cars that I owned where the thermostat failed and the engine overheated.
- Mazda 5 had 125k – Just gave me a check engine light, was replaced and drove with no issues.
- Toyota Camry had 120k – Engine did overheat a little, after replacing the thermostat kept driving it but needed to add coolant every couple months because the gasket was a little damaged. The replacement thermostat that I bought was not the original but an aftermarket from AutoZone. The engine ran a little cooler than usual.
- Dodge Durango had 103K – Overheated, head gasket and some sensor replaced, $2000 dollar bill.
When replacing the thermostat you should also invest a couple dollars for a new radiator cap, that is if you have a radiator cap. A radiator cap also regulates coolant and can get clogged and worn out. Always replace the thermostat and radiator cap after the engine has overheated.