Asked by: Halley Lynn
home and garden indoor environmental quality

How a thermostat in a car works?

Last Updated: 29th March, 2020

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To put it in simple words, a car thermostat works by responding to the changes in the temperature of the engine coolant. If the engine coolant is cold, then the thermostat maintains its closed position. Once the engine coolant is hot enough, then the thermostat opens to allow the coolant to go to the radiator.

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Herein, how does a thermostat work?

At its core, a thermostat is simply the controls used to regulate temperature in a heating system. You can set a preferred temperature, and the thermostat works to keep your room or boiler at this desired level. If the home starts to drop in temperature, a thermostat switches the heating on to warm it up.

Likewise, can a car run without a thermostat? Driving without a thermostat The warmth of the engine is what makes heat inside your car when you turn on the heater. So, if you drive without a thermostat, your engine will never reach its optimal operating temperature and your heater may blow cold air. If you live in a warm climate, this should not be a problem.

Also, what are the symptoms of a bad thermostat?

There are several common symptoms associated with a bad or failing thermostat that will alert you that service is due.

  • Temperature gauge reading very high and engine overheating.
  • Temperature changing erratically.
  • Coolant leaks around the thermostat housing or under the vehicle.

How do you test a car thermostat?

Start your car's engine and allow it to idle. Look through the radiator filler neck to see if the coolant flows. At this time, it should not be flowing as your car has not reached the operating temperature to cause the thermostat to open. If you find the coolant is flowing, it means the thermostat valve is open.

Related Question Answers

Doyle Vellarino

Professional

How do you set a thermostat?

  1. Shut down heat or air conditioning 20 to 30 minutes before you leave home each day.
  2. Turn on heat or air conditioning 20 to 30 minutes before you come home each day.
  3. Reduce the heating or cooling 60 minutes before you go to sleep each night.
  4. Increase heating or cooling about 30 minutes before you wake up each morning.

Shoshana Voneve

Professional

How do thermostats know the temperature?

Thermostats use different types of sensors to measure the temperature. In one form, the mechanical thermostat, a bimetallic strip in the form of a coil directly operates electrical contacts that control the heating or cooling source.

Latosha Schnurrbusch

Professional

What is the purpose of the thermostat?

Its job is to block the flow of coolant to the radiator until the engine has warmed up. When the engine is cold, no coolant flows through the engine. Once the engine reaches its operating temperature (generally about 200 degrees F, 95 degrees C), the thermostat opens.

Patrycia Eylert

Explainer

What should the thermostat be set at?

The ideal temperature range for your thermostat in the winter is from 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but most people like it around 68. In the winter, set your thermostat to the lowest temperature that you can comfortably stand, or set it even lower and just throw on a sweatshirt.

Decorosa Shan'Gin

Explainer

How do I test my thermostat?

Thank goodness it is much less expensive to replace a thermostat than your central heat and air unit.
  1. Check your thermostat to make sure it is in the "On" position.
  2. Stand at the thermostat while an assistant stands at the furnace.
  3. Raise the thermostat heat settings slowly.
  4. Turn off the breaker to your furnace.

Petkov Heinigh

Explainer

How do thermostat sensors work?

ecobee room sensors are an additional accessory that you can pair with your ecobee smart thermostat which allows the thermostat to know the temperature of different rooms in your house. Not only do the room sensors detect temperature, but they also have motion sensors so it can tell when somebody is in that room.

Leisa Toiran

Pundit

How does a temperature sensor work?

On most vehicles, the coolant temperature sensor (CTS) can be found somewhere near the engine thermostat, which allows it to function optimally. The sensor works by measuring the temperature that's being given off by the thermostat and/or the coolant itself. The temperature is then sent to the on-board control system.

Younouss Bellwon

Pundit

What are the different types of thermostats?

There are four basic types of modern thermostats: Non-programmable, programmable, Wi-Fi and smart. The further you get down the list of the thermostats discussed below, the more expensive they become. However, energy efficiency increases with each thermostat.

Isabell Fahnenschmidt

Pundit

Can a bad thermostat cause coolant to bubble?

A faulty thermostat that causes sporadic opening and closing can cause a churning and bubbling effect seen in the radiator or expansion reservoir. The rapid closing and opening of the thermostat valve can also cause a pounding noise inside the radiator, due to the slamming pulses of coolant.

Donat Harmke

Teacher

Can a bad thermostat cause AC not to work?

Under most circumstances, a bad thermostat will not have any effect whatsoever on the air conditioning system. The AC system is a completely separate entity; the only connection it has to the engine is at the compressor pulley, which derives its power from the crankshaft.

Samael Givica

Teacher

Can I remove thermostat to stop overheating?

TOM: Yes, Lee, removing the thermostat does make the car run cooler. But you should never, ever do it. When the engine is too cool, the thermostat closes and stops the coolant from flowing through the radiator, so the engine heats back up.

Joice Unpo

Teacher

Can a thermostat cause a check engine light to come on?

A malfunction can result in a trouble code, generated by the engine's computer, which can turn on your check engine light. If your thermostat gets stuck in the open position, it'll allow full, unrestricted circulation of the coolant. You might see these issues as a result: Temperature gauge reads lower than normal.

Remedios Lategui

Teacher

What happens if you remove the thermostat in a car?

Typically removing the thermostat will cause the engine to overheat at normal operating RPM. When the restriction is removed by removing the thermostat, at idle too much coolant will flow typically causing the engine to fail to reach it's designed operating temperature.

Abdenbi Rocamonde

Reviewer

What does a thermostat do if it gets too cool?

We can tell just from its name that a thermostat is something that "keeps heat the same": when our home is too cold, the thermostat switches on the heating so things quickly warm up; once the temperature reaches the level we've set, the thermostat switches the heating off so we don't boil.

Lain Baukloh

Reviewer

How long does a car thermostat last?

Unless an engine overheats or fails to reach normal operating temperature after being driven for several miles, the thermostat that regulates the flow of coolant is probably working properly. Thermostats generally last for years — even for the lifetime of a vehicle — so why bother changing it?

Sumia Erenas

Reviewer

Can a stuck thermostat fix itself?

You can either replace the valves with new ones or work the valves back into a position where they can move up and down more freely. Replace the thermostat. This is the last thing you want to do, but if the hoses do not show a blockage or coolant hindrance then the thermostat itself may be malfunctioning.

Maikel Roldoo

Reviewer

Can a bad thermostat cause transmission problems?

can a bad thermostat cause the transmission to gon into safe mode? No. Clearly you need to get on a real keyboard and provide enough information so that people can understand your problems and provide you with information.

Clemente Lorigo

Supporter

Why is my car overheating with a new thermostat?

This will cause the flow of the coolant in the system to be restricted, causing the truck to overheat. A clog in the heater core could also cause this problem. However, if the car is still getting heat, the heater core can easily be ruled out. The most likely cause is a clogged radiator.

Ros De Jong

Supporter

How do I know if my thermostat is stuck open?

Symptoms of a bad thermostat
Thermostat stuck open: When the thermostat is stuck open, the engine temperature drops below normal when driving, especially on the highway in cold weather. A stuck-open thermostat can also cause lack of heat from the heating system. The Check Engine light may come on too.