Changing your vehicle’s thermostat is a relatively simple job that you can do on most vehicles with simple hand tools and a few hours. Anytime you’re doing any work on your vehicle’s cooling system you will be draining the only antifreeze and most likely adding new antifreeze. To save on having to purchase new antifreeze more often then you have to you should plan to do all of your cooling system maintenance while your system is drained the first time. This can include things like changing old coolant hoses or flushing your radiator.
When it comes to changing your vehicle’s thermostat, there are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do I need an OEM thermostat or will an aftermarket component work?
- Should I replace the seal, gasket or housing as well?
- What temperature do I want it to open?
OEM VS. Aftermarket
OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer means the part you are installing is made by the same people that made the original part that was installed in your car when it was being put together on the assembly line. The advantage of using OEM parts is you know they will fit correctly and function as the manufacturer originally intended them to keep your car running as you expect it to. The downside is the OEM parts are usually the most expensive option and can be difficult to find except at a dealership. Aftermarket parts usually look almost identical to OEM parts but they are manufactured by an alternative parts maker. Aftermarket parts have grown in popularity due to their low cost, but some of them can be problematic when it comes to fitment and function.
Seal, Gaskets, and Housing
As we mentioned early, it’s a good idea to do all your cooling system work while you’ve got the system drained to save money by only replacing your coolant once. This also makes it wise to go ahead and replace some inexpensive items that may fail in the future to avoid draining your coolant again but also to avoid leaks and breakdowns. Doing things like replacing seals and gaskets are a no-brainer as they are very inexpensive insurance against leaks and can often be damaged during disassembly. Many thermostats will come with new gaskets or o-rings in the box which makes things simple. On newer cars and trucks the vehicle’s thermostat is in its own plastic housing. Since plastic can fail over time, we usually recommend replacing the housing along with the thermostat to avoid future failures.
Your vehicle’s thermostat is designed to open at a specific temperature to regulate the engine temperature and avoid boiling in your cooling system. You may consider installing a different temperature thermostat to help keep your vehicle cool. We don’t recommend anything cooler than 140 degrees to make sure your engine is warm enough to function correctly and you still have heat in the cooler months.
Another great way to keep your engine running cooling is to use BlueDevil Engine Cool in your antifreeze when you refill the system. BlueDevil Engine Cool can reduce engine temperatures up to 25 degrees without changing your thermostat and can even eliminate hot spots in your vehicle’s heads!
You can find BlueDevil Engine Cool at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:
- Advance Auto Parts
- Bennett Auto Supply
- CarQuest Auto Parts
- NAPA Auto Parts
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- Fast Track
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
- S&E Quick Lube Distributor
- DYK Automotive
- Fisher Auto Parts stores
- Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
- Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
- Salvo Auto Parts
- Advantage Auto Stores
- Genuine Auto Parts stores
- Bond Auto Parts stores
- Tidewater Fleet Supply
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
- Any Part Auto Parts
- Consumer Auto Parts
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