If you drive a high-mileage vehicle that is 10 years old or older, you may be facing a dead thermostat soon. Oxford Auto & Tire advises that the average lifespan of a car thermostat is 10 years. You will notice the following signs if your thermostat is faulty. If it is, it’s important to have it replaced as soon as possible because continuing to drive your automobile with a malfunctioning thermostat can cause serious engine damage. Let’s talk about the thermostat and signs it is going out below.
Engine Coolant Leaks
As the thermostat housing ages, engine coolant may eventually start to leak out of it. It may not leak enough that you end up with coolant spots on your garage floor. The coolant may simply seep out of the thermostat housing and collect around it. If this is the case, you may not realize that you have a coolant leak until your engine overheats. Keep an eye on your coolant levels to make sure that the system isn’t losing any coolant when you drive your automobile.
Erratic Temperature Changes
Another sign that your car thermostat is dying is erratic temperature changes. These changes will be reflected on the temperature gauge on your vehicle’s dashboard. You may notice that the temperature fluctuates frequently in your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s engine. If this is happening, it’s possible that the thermostat is malfunctioning and not releasing engine coolant correctly. This is what the thermostat is responsible for doing. Once the engine temperature begins to rise, the thermostat releases the coolant so the water pump can circulate it through the engine.
If this isn’t happening, you may notice your engine’s temperature rise only to decrease once the thermostat finally releases the engine coolant. This erratic temperature behavior is definitely an indication that there is something wrong with your vehicle’s cooling system. In most cases, the problem points to the thermostat, which we can test to make sure it is still working.
Finally, if your vehicle starts to overheat within the first 15 minutes of driving it, this suggests that the thermostat is malfunctioning and failing to release the coolant that the engine needs to reduce its temperature. In fact, until such time as you get the thermostat replaced, your engine will continue to overheat. Driving with an overheating engine can damage it severely.
Call Oxford Auto & Tire in Oxford, PA, today if you suspect that your car’s thermostat is going out. We’d be happy to take a look at it and replace it if necessary.