How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car? new for 2022

Trying to figure out how to unstick a thermostat in a car can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re not sure where to start.

Not only is it difficult to try and figure out how to unstick a thermostat in a car, but it’s also incredibly frustrating when you don’t know where to start.

How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car
How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car

So How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car? We’ve put together this guide that takes you through the process step-by-step so that you can successfully unstick your thermostat without any trouble.


What Does the Thermostat in a Car Do?

What Does the Thermostat in a Car Do
What Does the Thermostat in a Car Do

Thermostats come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The thermostat on your car’s sole purpose is to keep the temperature of your engine constant. This temperature cannot be altered, unlike your home’s thermostat, which is set by the automobile manufacturer and must be maintained within optimal engine running temperatures.

The thermostat works like a bathtub drain plug. It opens and shuts, allowing or preventing heat to flow through the radiator, based on whether it’s necessary or not. The term “coolant” refers to liquid that keeps your car cool. This fluid efficiently captures and transmits energy away by absorbing heat in your engine and moving it somewhere else. It is utilized in your engine to “suck up” the heat and move it somewhere else, effectively cooling it down.

How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car

How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car
How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Drain bucket
  • Selection of wrenches
  • Coolant
  • New thermostat

Because swapping the thermostat is such an easy and cheap fix, you should try this method first before taking more drastic measures. Just be sure that your engine is completely cooled down before beginning.

Step 1: Find position your thermostat

The thermostat is generally located where the top radiator hose links with the engine. If you cannot find it in that location, check the bottom radiator pipe.

Step 2: Position a bucket beneath where you’ll be working.

Some coolant will leak out, so be sure to have a bucket close by to catch it. You can pour it back into the radiator when you’re finished.

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Step 3: Unscrew the clamp

Step 4: Remove the hose from its position

Step 5: Remove the old thermostat

Examine the new thermostat and gasket along with the old ones. If the new thermostat and gasket are not compatible with the old one, return to the store to obtain the appropriate ones.

Step 6: Place the new gasket on top of the old one.

Remove the gasket that was covering the hole in which the thermostat was installed. Take care not to drop any of the gasket’s fragments into the hole!

Step 7: Install the new thermostat and fasten it.

Remember to put the spring side down; afterward, replace the bolts.

Step 8: Change the hose and hose clamp.

Make sure to screw your hose clamp down tightly, but not so much that it cuts through the hose.

Step 9: Replace any hose fluid that is leaking

Avoid letting it touch surfaces where children or animals could be harmed. Remove any spills as soon as possible before hosing down the area, then seal and discard the cloth inside.

What Causes The Thermostat to Stick?

What Causes The Thermostat to Stick
What Causes The Thermostat to Stick

Coolant Level Is Low

If the coolant level drops, the thermostat may become stuck. The engine’s heat removal is aided by coolant. As a result, when there isn’t enough coolant, the engine can be partially sieved or overheat. If your car’s cooling system becomes clogged with contaminants and debris from within the radiator, it will cause other problems in addition to making your thermostat stick.

Engine Oil That Is Old Or Dirty

When the thermostat is closed, old or unclean engine oil can prevent coolant from circulating properly. It’s a good idea to check your engine oil level every now and then to make sure it hasn’t run out. You may replace the oil filter without removing the oil if you discover that it isn’t operating correctly or there is dirt build-up on it, but both are suggested.

Coolant Must Be Replaced

A thermostat can become frozen in one position owing to previous coolant. This is due to the fact that the coolant cannot flow freely. When this happens, the thermostat may be trapped in the open position. As a result of this, the engine will overheat. To prevent this, it’s important to change the cooling system every few years.

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A Defective Thermostat

A faulty thermostat is often caused by a low-quality or fault codes. You get what you pay for, so a low-cost thermostat may turn out to be trash and cause problems with your driving experience.

Signs Of Damage To The Thermostat Valve

Signs Of Damage To The Thermostat Valve
Signs Of Damage To The Thermostat Valve

Overheating of the engine

If the thermostat is closed, Coolant will not flow into the radiator and cause engine overheating. If cars operate in this condition for extended periods of time, there is a high likelihood that the engine will be completely destroyed.

Temperature swings that are unusual

Check the control panel’s temperature gauge regularly. If you see the needle fall sharply, it might be because there is something wrong with your car’s thermostat.

Coolant leakage

Another potential issue sign with the thermostat is if you notice liquid coolant leakage. When damaged, this occurring because the part doesn’t allow movement of the liquid, leaving it trapped in the closed position. This can then cause issues such as leaking through gaskets or seeping out of valve housing and into different areas under the vehicle’s body.

FAQs How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car

FAQs How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car
FAQs How To Unstick A Thermostat In A Car

How long can you drive with thermostat stuck closed?

The thermostat may not open a car. It will operate on the warm side rather than past halfway, and the interior will be just fine. When the weather warms up outside, though, the thermostat gets stuck shut, preventing the reservoir water from flowing.

Can you drive a car with a bad thermostat?

No, your car can’t drive itself. While your automobile may physically be capable of moving you from Point A to Point B, it is unwise to drive it. This might negatively affect the performance of other parts of your vehicle, especially if the engine overheats.

How do I know if my thermostat is stuck open or closed?

If a thermostat was stuck open, the lower radiator hose would start warming up as soon as the engine is started. However, if a thermostat was stuck closed, there would be no flow even after the engine reached optimal temperature. As a result,the lower radiator hose would remain cool.

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How do you unstick a closed thermostat?

Let your car idle for 10-20 minutes to get it started. The thermostat in your automobile will remain closed after a cold start and no coolant will enter your radiator. Allow the vehicle to run for approximately 10-20 minutes to attain its optimum operating temperature.

What happens if you run your car without a thermostat?

Without a thermostat, the engine would never have a chance to warm up and would overheat quickly. The constant flow of coolant created by the lack of a thermostat would cause the engine to be constantly cooled, detrimentally affecting performance.

How much does it cost to replace car thermostat?

On average, it costs $200 to $300 dollars to replace a thermostat in a car. Obviously, this price will depend on the make and model of your vehicle as well as its year.

Is it good to remove thermostat from car?

The thermostat’s job is to prevent coolant from flowing into the radiator until the engine has reached optimum temperature. Once optimal temperature is reached, the thermostat then opens up and allows free flow of coolant. Removing a thermostat from any car is NOT advisable.

How to Test if Your Car’s Thermostat is Working (Without Removing It!!)


If you find yourself in a situation where your thermostat is stuck and you can’t seem to get it unstuck, don’t worry. You have a few different options to try before resorting to taking the car into a mechanic.‘s team have outlined common ways to fix this issue, so hopefully one of these solutions will work for you. Have you ever had to unstick a thermostat in your car? What method did you use?

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