National average cost of a Thermostat Housing Replacement for popular vehicles:
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Avg. cost $132
Avg. cost $115
Hyundai Elantra GT
Avg. cost $123
What is a thermostat housing and how does it work?
The thermostat in an engine is responsible for regulating the temperature of the cooling system. In order for your engine to run efficiently, it needs to operate within a specific heat range. Heating up is easy, since the combustion process gives off a good deal of heat. To prevent overheating, engine coolant (antifreeze) is circulated through the engine block to pick up some of that heat and send it to the radiator where it dissipates into the atmosphere. The coolant returns to the engine at a lower temperature to pick up more heat and do it all over again in a near-constant cycle.
If the coolant, however, is allowed to circulate continuously, too much engine heat can be lost. Heat that is necessary for proper engine function. Therefore, the thermostat serves as a valve to close off the passage of coolant. It controls the amount of coolant that cycles through your engine by opening and closing. It opens when the temperature falls to a certain level, and it opens back up when the temperature rises to another designated level. Most engines prefer to operate somewhere between 195 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
The thermostat housing is an enclosure mounted to the engine where the thermostat is located. The housing is sealed against the engine with a gasket to prevent coolant from escaping.
How do I know if my thermostat needs to be replaced?
The thermostat housing is typically mounted to the top of the engine block and is connected to the radiator by a rubber hose. The most common sign that a thermostat housing has failed is a coolant leak at that location. This is usually due to either a cracked or warped housing. A bad seal can also be the culprit.
On some engines, the thermostat itself is integrated into the housing. Therefore, if the thermostat fails, the housing will need to be replaced along with it. Overheating is a common symptom of a thermostat that is stuck closed, whereas insufficient heat coming from the heater vents might signal one that is stuck open.
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For a technician to replace your thermostat housing, your engine must first cool down completely to prevent injury from steaming hot coolant. That usually takes about a half an hour. It is common to install a new thermostat when the thermostat housing is replaced.
Once the engine is cool, the following stems are generally taken
The radiator cap is loosened and a valve on the bottom of the radiator is opened in order to allow the level of the coolant to drop below that of the thermostat location
The thermostat housing is unbolted from the engine and removed along with its gasket
Any old gasket residue is scraped off of the mounting surface on the engine and from the housing
A fresh gasket is applied and the new thermostat and housing are inserted into its mounting location
The housing bolts are torqued to manufacturer’s specifications
The cooling system is refilled with the proper coolant type, and trapped air in the system is bled
Your engine is started and allowed to run until it reaches normal operating temperature
The coolant level and coolant flow are verified
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
What happens when a car thermostat goes bad?
A bad car thermostat can cause one of two problems. If it sticks open, too much coolant circulates through your engine and prevents it from reaching its optimum operating temperature. If the thermostat sticks closed, your engine will overheat. That is a big problem that can lead to catastrophic engine failure if not addressed quickly.
Can I drive with a bad thermostat?
It is not recommended that you drive with a bad thermostat. The engine will still operate - for a while. But you will lose fuel efficiency. You might lose heat from the vents in the passenger compartment. And, most importantly, your engine can overheat and leave you stranded with significant engine damage. A bad thermostat should be addressed as quickly as possible to prevent engine overheating.
How many thermostats does a car have?
Most passenger car and light truck engines feature a single thermostat to regulate engine temperature. Some, however, employ both a primary and a secondary thermostat that have different temperature profiles. A technician might recommend that, if your engine has two thermostats, they both be replaced. Of course, all vehicles have another thermostat - apart from the one(s) on the engine - that controls the climate inside the passenger compartment.
What parts are related to a Thermostat Housing Replacement?