What To Know About Your Vehicle's Thermostat

9 February 2022
 Categories: , Blog


Are you unsure if you have an issue with your vehicle's thermostat, but don't know much about it? If so, it will help to know the following information about this important part of your vehicle that controls the engine temperature. 

Know What A Thermostat Does

A vehicle's thermostat is designed to help the vehicle run at the proper operating temperature. If the engine becomes too hot, the thermostat triggers the radiator to send coolant to the engine to cool it down to the proper temperature. When the engine is too cold, such as when starting the vehicle, the thermostat will not allow the radiator to send coolant to the engine so that it can get to the proper temperature faster. 

Know About A Stuck Open Thermostat

One problem that you can have with a thermostat is that it is stuck in the open position. This allows coolant to flow to the engine at times where it is not necessary, causing the engine to run cooler than normal

A common sign that tells you something is wrong with a stuck open thermostat is a service engine light on your dashboard. You can take your vehicle to a mechanic, who will likely see that the error code identified is P0128. This code indicates that the engine is running cooler than what it should run at, which is likely due to a faulty thermostat or a part that the thermostat controls. 

You'll also notice that your vehicle's temperature gauge takes a very long time to reach the halfway mark on the temperature gauge. Since the radiator is running constantly, it will take a long time for the engine to get to the proper running temperature. This can also cause a lack of heat in your car during the winter since the heating system takes that heat from the engine and distributes it to the interior of your car.

Know About A Stuck Closed Thermostat

The opposite problem can happen where the thermostat is stuck in a closed position. This does not allow the radiator to cool down the engine with coolant, which leads to the engine overheating. You'll likely see a temperature gauge light illuminate on your dashboard to bring your attention to the engine temperature. You may even see steam coming from underneath the hood, with the hood being really hot to touch.

Take your vehicle to an auto shop at the first sign of engine overheating. You run the risk of causing significant damage to your engine by letting it run too hot while driving. 

For more information, contact a service center that repairs vehicles like yours, such as a Maserati service center.