The thermostat is a vital part of your cooling system. Ukiah drivers' vehicle thermostats perform a similar function to the thermostats in their homes. At home, you set your thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature range. When your home gets too hot, the air conditioning kicks on and when it gets too cool, the heater turns on.
Now your engine also has an optimal temperature range: warm enough to run efficiently and not so hot as to cause engine damage. Your vehicle’s thermostat is an important valve between the engine and the radiator. When Ukiah drivers first start a cold engine, the valve (thermostat) is closed, allowing the coolant surrounding the engine to warm up to the proper operating temperature. As the coolant gets hotter, the thermostat opens, allowing coolant to flow through to the radiator to be cooled. The thermostat opens and closes to keep the engine within a certain temperature range.
Now thermostats are rated for a specific temperature depending on the engine – not a one size fits all proposition. Thermostats are subject to normal wear. Proper operation depends on a special wax that expands as it heats up to open a spring-loaded valve. A worn thermostat could stick in the open position causing the engine to run too cool. This is inefficient and could reduce performance and MPG. If a thermostat sticks in the closed position, the engine can be subject to the dangerous results of overheating.
There isn’t a specific routine for Ukiah car owners to maintain their thermostat, but maintaining the cooling system by changing the coolant/antifreeze on schedule will make sure the coolant has enough required corrosion inhibitors to protect the thermostat and other important system components. Cooling system experts and the team at West Coast Muffler & Auto Repair in Ukiah recommend replacing your thermostat when you do a coolant flush or exchange. Also, thermostats usually wear out faster than your hoses, so if a worn hose replacement is needed, replace the thermostat at the same time.
If your temperature warning light comes on, have an inspection of your cooling system right away. This could be a thermostat problem. The thermostat could also be the culprit for Ukiah auto owners who aren’t getting hot air when they turn on their heater.
The thermostat is a relatively inexpensive part that stands guard between you and catastrophic and pricey engine damage. Follow your auto manufacturer’s manual instructions, or check with your helpful West Coast Muffler & Auto Repair service specialist to see if it’s time for a cooling system inspection or service.