If you drive an older automobile and experience any of the problems listed below, there’s a good possibility that the thermostat has gone bad. The thermostat not only reads the engine’s temperature but also releases the coolant into the engine once it needs it. A faulty thermostat can create problems with the coolant flow that will leave you with an overheating engine. Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostics and Repair is going to talk more about this and other signs that your thermostat has gone bad below.
Corrosion on the Thermostat
If you pop the hood and thoroughly inspect your thermostat, you should not see any corrosion on it. If you do, this is a sign that the valve that the thermostat uses to release the coolant is stuck. When this valve gets stuck in the closed position, the coolant seeps out of it and pools around the thermostat. Unfortunately, you end up with a corroded mess on the thermostat housing that can damage it if it begins to eat through it.
Leaking Coolant on the Garage Floor
If it does, you may end up with coolant leaking onto the garage floor. The coolant will continue to leak out of the thermostat until you replace it. If you do see spots on the garage floor, checked to see the color of the fluid to determine whether it matches the coolant in the engine. Engine coolant comes in a wide variety of colors including red, blue, green, and yellow. You can tell your coolant’s color by looking at it in the radiator overflow reservoir.
Strange Changes in the Engine’s Temperature
Another sign that your thermostat is malfunctioning and going bad is strange changes in the engine’s temperature. For example, if your temperature gauge needle is moving up and down sporadically, this is a sign that the thermostat is releasing and blocking engine coolant erratically. This could be an indication that the thermostat is malfunctioning and not reading the engine’s temperature correctly. The thermostat will need to be replaced.
An Engine That Overheats Quickly
Finally, a thermostat can go bad and never release the coolant into the engine. When this happens, your engine will overheat almost immediately after you start it. It can also overheat if the thermostat is not releasing the coolant at the right time.
Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostics and Repair in St. George, UT, would be happy to test your vehicle’s thermostat and replace it if necessary. Call us today.