Part of the car's engine cooling system, the thermostat has an important part to play in ensuring the engine stays at the right temperature for optimum performance, power and efficiency. The thermostat functions to prevent the movement of liquid coolant into the radiator until the engine has reached the correct temperature and allows the coolant to flow into the radiator when the engine needs cooling down.
The thermostat lies between the engine and the radiator in the thermostat housing, sealed tightly with the thermostat housing gasket.
The thermostat, based on the temperature of the engine, will either open or close, acting as a valve, enabling or preventing the coolant to flow into the radiator. If the temperature of the engine is too cold, the thermostat remains shut, keeping the coolant out of the radiator. If the engine temperature is too hot, the thermostat opens, allowing the coolant to flow in. The thermostat opens to release the flow of coolant into the radiator when the engine has warmed up to the right temperature. By waiting until the engine is fully warmed up before releasing the coolant, the thermostat is enabling the engine to warm up as quickly as possible, which helps the engine to perform better and helps to reduce wear and tear on engine components, prevent deposits and reduce harmful emissions. The thermostat functions to stop the car engine from overheating, by opening to enable coolant to travel into the radiator.
A sign of a failed thermostat is an engine that overheats or an engine that doesn't reach the right heat for correct engine operation. The thermostat can get stuck open or stuck in the closed position. A faulty thermostat should be addressed as soon as possible as this component is crucial to maintaining correct engine temperature, and therefore vital for running the engine. Consulting with your mechanic to make sure the correct fault has been found is a good idea. When replacing this part, choosing to fit a good quality thermostat will guarantee compatibility with the make and model of your vehicle.