The car thermostat is a metal valve with an integrated temperature sensor. Together with the coolant, radiator and water pump, the car thermostat is part of the car's engine cooling system.
The main task of the car thermostat is to regulate the coolant input to the engine. When the engine reaches and exceeds the normal operating temperature, the car thermostat opens. Once the car thermostat opens, the hot coolant is brought to cool in the radiator and replaced by cold coolant.
This mechanism maintains an optimum operating temperature for combustion and is safe for metal components.
Let's start by saying that the car thermostat has nothing to do with the car thermometer. The former regulates the flow of coolant to the engine, the latter indicates the atmospheric temperature. Damage to the car thermostat can cause serious problems to the car, damage to the car thermometer, in the worst case, indicates an incorrect outside temperature.
The car's thermostat is a crucial component, as it regulates the flow of water to the engine to prevent the engine from overheating. If the coolant is not circulating properly in the cooling system, it becomes impossible to remove the excessive heat generated by fuel combustion. This overheating can lead to engine meltdown, which costs thousands of euros to repair.
Modern thermostats are much more durable than they used to be, so it is rare to encounter a faulty thermostat. However, if we do come across a thermostat that is locked closed, it will be essential that the fault is repaired immediately by a competent mechanic. This applies to any problem with the car's cooling system, such as a broken water pump.
Replacing a broken car thermostat is usually fairly inexpensive. The cost of the replacement car thermostat is usually around 50 euros while the labor for the job of removing and replacing the thermostat is around 175 euros. Therefore, in total we can think of spending 200 euros to replace the broken car thermostat.
These prices are meant as very general indications and the cost of spare parts and labor can vary significantly. Relying on the authorized body shop garage can raise the costs up to double the price of the broken car thermostat replacement. This is due to high labor costs, usually at least twice as much as an independent garage.
Given the function of the car thermostat, any type of engine cooling system failure could be caused, at least in part, by a broken car thermostat. If the car thermostat remains open, it will be impossible to reach normal engine temperatures and you could have fuel combustion problems or lack of warm air in the passenger compartment.
Another symptom of a problem with a car's thermostat is when the water temperature warning light comes on. If this warning light comes on, the coolant may have overheated and this can be caused by a closed car thermostat. If the car thermostat remains closed, the coolant will not circulate and the engine may overheat.
In case you are worried about a broken car thermostat there is not much to do, you should go to a mechanic as soon as possible. Replacing the car thermostat should be done by a professional mechanic avoiding DIY. To understand what to do with a broken car thermostat you must understand that the engine cooling system is compromised.
Obviously it would be better not to drive the car and be picked up by a tow truck. If it is not possible to require the intervention of a tow truck, you have to proceed at a reduced speed , stopping often to cool the engine. This could prevent the engine from overheating and causing internal damage to metal components such as pistons, valves and connecting rods.