How to Replace Your Thermostat in 6 Steps

If you’ve been noticing that your car is overheating, or you’re constantly freezing when driving in the winter, you may have a broken thermostat. The cause may be either the thermostat sticks open - causing the lack of heat, or it may be stuck closed – causing your car to overheat. However, do not fear! Replacing a thermostat is very simple and inexpensive, so we’ve compiled a how-to so you don’t have to bring your car to the shop!

Step 1: Know Where Your Thermostat is Located

The first, and arguably most important part of replacing your thermostat, is knowing where it is! Most vehicles’ thermostats are located near where the top radiator hose meets with the engine. However, some cars have their thermostats located at the bottom of the radiator hose – if so don’t worry, the same principle applies. 

Step 2: Place a Bucket Down

When working with cars, expect to get dirty. Cars are full of dirt, grime and fluids so make sure you’re not wearing your good clothes. With that being said, it’s important to make sure that you’re not getting the fluids on the ground. Most vehicle fluids are extremely poisonous, and the last thing you want is a family pet ingesting any. Put a bucket down where you will be working. It saves you from a mess!

Step 3: Remove the Clamp & Pull Off the Hose

Now you must remove the clamp. After that, follow the hose to where your thermostat is located. Once you get to it, pull off the hose. This is where your bucket comes in to play. There will be liquid escaping once that hose is pulled off, so make sure that the liquid spills into the bucket. 

Step 4: Take Out the Thermostat

Now it’s time to get that old thermostat out of there. Remove the bolts that hold the thermostat in place. Once the bolts are removed you should be able to lift the old thermostat out. 

Now you should inspect the new thermostat and compare it to the old one. Look at its gasket. If the new thermostat doesn’t have a gasket that is the same as the old one, go back and get one that does. Don’t play around with car parts, as it can be a costly mistake!

Step 5: Put in the New Gasket

Take off the gasket where the old thermostat was located. Scrape any pieces that are left over – but make sure that they don’t fall into the hole! That can cause problems in the future. Now you can lay the new gasket into place. 

Step 6: Put in New Thermostat

Drop the new thermostat into place. Make sure that when you place it you put it spring-side down. Now you must secure it. Replace the bolts, and make sure they’re tight. A loose thermostat can lead to many problems down the road, so make sure that they’re secured!

Now you must put everything back into place. Replace the hose and hose clamp, again making sure it’s secured. You should also replace whatever fluids ran out of the hose. Pour the liquid from the bucket back into the radiator or coolant reserve.

You have now successfully replaced your car’s thermostat. Congratulations! Many people don’t realize just how easy replacing certain parts can be. Remember, if you need any replacement parts, GM Outlet Parts has you covered!