If you drive an older automobile, you probably keep an ear and an eye open for potential problems. One of the things that can happen in older automobiles is that the thermostat can die. This cooling system part has an average lifespan of a decade. Vielhaber’s Garage is going to list the symptoms of a malfunctioning thermostat below. It’s important to have this issue addressed right away because the thermostat is in charge of releasing the coolant into the engine.
Engine Coolant Leaks
The thermostat releases the coolant into the engine through a valve that opens and closes. It’s not uncommon for the valve to get stuck in the closed position in an older thermostat. When this happens, the coolant is pushed out and it will pool around the thermostat housing. Depending on the severity of the leak, you may end up with coolant dripping onto your garage floor. If you inspect your vehicle’s thermostat, you may see corrosion around the housing. This is the leaking engine coolant.
Erratic Temperature Changes
An old thermostat can also malfunction an open and close the coolant valve sporadically. When this happens, your engine gets the coolant sporadically. As a consequence, your temperature gauge will move up and down constantly as the engine overheats and cools off constantly. In some cases, due to the engine’s erratic temperature, you may end up feeling a difference between the air that is blowing into the passenger cabin. It, too, may go from hot to cold and back to hot erratically. It’s important to have this odd behavior looked into as soon as possible.
The reason why these issues need to be addressed quickly is that they can cause your engine to overheat constantly. If there is a coolant leak that is depleting the coolant supplies, your engine will overheat. If the thermostat valve is stuck in the closed position, your engine will overheat. It can also overheat within the first 15 minutes of driving your automobile if the thermostat has died completely.
You probably already know this but it bears repeating: Driving your automobile when the engine is too hot can seriously damage it. In fact, you could damage the engine beyond repair by cracking the engine block. Even if you turn up the heat to cool off the engine, the malfunctioning thermostat may be unable to provide the engine with the coolant it needs and it will continue to overheat.
Call Vielhaber’s Garage in Findlay, OH, today if you suspect your vehicle’s thermostat needs to be replaced. We would be happy to inspect the thermostat and put a new one in if the cooling system needs it.