Thermostat Replacement Cost: Everything You Should Know About

by Conner Mckay

If you are comparing the thermostat in your house to the one in your car then you would be making a big mistake. Monitoring the temperature in your car is not the only thing the thermostat does, it does a lot more than that. It is an extremely important component of your vehicle since it makes sure that the temperature is properly regulated inside. We have listed here everything you need to know about your thermostat replacement cost and the services associated with it.

This is a really big reason why you need to get your thermostat repaired or replaced the moment it stops working. Generally, on average, you would look at somewhere around $200 to $300 when it comes to getting your thermostat replaced. However, this does greatly depend on the vehicle that you own. Keep on reading to find out more!

Thermostat Replacement Cost: How Does The Thermostat Works?

The thermostat in your car is a component of the valve which is a part of the car’s cooling system. The thermostat is the one responsible for regulating the movement of your coolant from your engine to the radiator and back again.

The engine of your car would not be able to perform at a proper temperature without the thermostat in your car. This is because your engine would overheat and you would end up with some serious issues from the damage caused by the overheating of your engine.

1. Spring Mechanism

Generally, there is a spring mechanism used to open and close the valve of the thermostat, however, there are some models of thermostat valves that use a piston movement. Not only that but there are also some fancy and advanced ones which can be controlled electronically.

When your thermostat is working the way that it should be, a constant temperature is maintained inside your car by circulating the coolant properly from the engine of your car to the radiator. When the thermostat is not working properly, maybe because the valve was stuck open or closed, then coolant flow inside your car is not regulated properly.

2. Coolant

By itself, a thermostat is a smaller part of your car that is situated in between the engine of your car and the radiator. When the temperature of the engine goes up high to a considerable amount, the valve inside opens up. This allows for the coolant to be able to circulate through the whole thing and make the temperature drop again.

Once your engine has been properly cooled the valve closes down. This enables the coolant flow to be temporarily stopped and the engine is allowed to finally warm up again. This is also the way your car would start if you were to leave it unused for a few days.

Doing this lets your engine warm up and rise to the right temperature before the temperature is needed to be kept down with the help of the coolant flow. All thanks to a tiny amount of wax that comes inside of the thermostat, it can close and open at the right time necessary.

3. Wax

The wax that is inside of the thermostat melts at around 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the wax is melted, the rod which presses down to open the cylinder is released. Once the temperature is brought down again, it allows for the wax to resolidify and the rod can be held in place again. This idea is not just ingenious but it is also a very simple one at the same time, and it does get the job done well.

However, keep in mind that no matter how simple your thermostat may seem or how easy the function of it is, it is still a very important piece of the whole system of your car and plays a vital role in keeping the engine of your car running properly as long as it possibly can.

An advantage that comes from the thermostat having such a simple working mechanism is that it does not generally face much wear and tear experience. This is why thermostats normally tend to last you the whole lifetime of your car.

You should still keep in mind the fact that any component that is inside your car is open to being broken down or damaged as long as the time and the place are right. So even though there is a very minimal chance of your thermostat breaking down, it still might.

Thermostat Replacement Cost: What Does On With A Thermostat Replacement?

Let’s start with the basic stuff. In most cases, a thermostat replacement cost is just a straightforward cost and fairly simple job of replacement. Generally in the majority of domestic cars, this replacement can take anywhere from an hour to two. However, there are of course some other models of cars that might require hours of work to be done and need parts of their engine to be removed.

The amount of time that needs to be spent repairing your thermostat and the repair cost that you would be looking at does also depend on the severity of the damage done to your thermostat. You would do a good amount of damage to your engine and the parts surrounding it if your thermostat was stuck closed, but you still went driving your vehicle around for a while after.

Thermostat Replacement Cost

Another thing that you should know is that just like most other car repairs, the biggest part of the cost related to repairing your damaged thermostat does come from labor. You can look up the year, model, and make of a thermostat to check how much it costs on its own. Generally, a thermostat on average can cost anywhere from about $12 to up to $150.

So, if you are good with technical repairs and trust yourself with car repairs, then you can easily save quite a bit of money by repairing by yourself in your garage. You should consider the fact that depending on the car that you own, you might be looking at some extensive repairs. If that is something you are not comfortable with then you should leave the repairs up to a professional mechanic.

Thermostat Replacement Cost: What Exactly Happens?

When you are getting your thermostat replaced, the mechanic will need to remove the housing of the thermostat after they drain the coolant out so that the thermostat can be removed. In most cases, you will also need to replace the housing of the thermostat as well. This is because most thermostats come with housing that is designed to be integral.

The engine needs to be cleaned properly by the mechanic before they start to install the new thermostat in your car. When the thermostat is finally installed, the mechanic can then refill the coolant. After that is done all there’s left to do is just bleed the entire system out of air. The mechanic should still test the car after finishing the procedure, to make sure that there are no issues and everything is running the way it should.

Thermostat Replacement Cost: Symptoms Of A Damaged Car Thermostat

When there is some sort of issue with the thermostat that is in your car, you can tell whether it is completely broken or is failing with a few typical signs. The most common reason for your thermostat failing would be because of the valve being stuck either in an open or a closed position.

Both of these options are equally as harmful to the engine of your car. This is because of the coolant, as we talked about earlier, the coolant’s flow is needed to be regulated inside your car. Whether the coolant is completely cut off from being regulated or even if it is continuously running inside, both these situations can put your car at a lot of risk of being damaged.

There are signs for each of these that you can keep an eye out for.

1. Temperatures Being Irregular

One of the most obvious signs of the thermostat in your car not functioning properly is certainly this one. You would be driving with the risk of the temperature in your car engine being either too low or too high if the thermostat in your car does not work the way it should.

You will know that your car is running quite hot if you notice the temperature gauge that is on the dashboard, going into the red zone too often. This is something that normally happens when the thermostat in your car is in the closed position and it’s stuck.

If you notice the temperature of your engine going into the overheating red zone in just 15 to 20 minutes of your use, then this should be a good enough sign to tell you that something is not right with the thermostat. This is because there should be no reason for your car engine to be heating that much that fast.

Another thing that might happen is the thermostat in your car being stuck in the open position. When this happens the coolant inside is running around freely without even giving your car engine a chance to get up to the right temperature.

What this means for your car engine is that it will not be able to reach the proper temperature that it needs and it will of course start to perform badly.

There is a very high possibility that the coolant is moving around unrestricted and that the thermostat in your car is stuck in an open position if you do not see the temperature of your car engine go up to normal and it just stays cold while your car is not giving you the proper performance either.

2. Temperature Fluctuation

This is a bit different than the temperature of your car engine either going too high or too low. If you notice the temperature in your car to be inconsistently bouncing up and down then it could be a sign that your thermostat has some issues.

This will be something very erratic and random, you will notice the temperature gauge in your car reading that it is cold one second and the next it will suddenly show that it is overheating for no apparent reason. This temperature change will keep on happening for short periods, repeatedly.

3. Leaking Of The Coolant

You can check this one easily by just popping the hood open and taking a look under the hood. You need to check the area where the thermostat of your car is situated and look for any visible coolant.

If you do see any visible coolant leaking from your thermostat then it is highly likely that the valve is stuck closed which is causing the coolant to leak out due to the pressure that is created inside. If the leak is bad enough, you might also be able to see puddling of coolant right under your car.

4. Offering Poor Performance

When the engine of your car is overheating it will not be able to work as well as it is supposed to. There are a ton of potential problems that come as a result of your car engine overheating, and this also includes some serious damage being done to the pistons and valves in your car.

Not only could you end up just blowing the heads off your gasket, and warping the metal around the thermostat, you could also end up burning a hole through your wallet to repair all these damages. But, before you reach that point, you will also be suffering from a reduced overall performance from your car engine as well as poor gas mileage.

If you notice that not only does your car keep on running hot, but it is also costing you a lot more money by needing to be fueled up more regularly, and your car won’t accelerate as well or reach the same speeds that it used to before, then you can count it as a sign of your thermostat not working properly.

Thermostat Replacement Cost: Can You Replace Your Thermostat By Yourself?

When all is said and done, it is not that much of a complicated job to replace your thermostat. What this means is that if you are trying to save yourself a trip to the mechanic and the thermostat replacement cost, then you would be able to pull this off on your own.

We have already discussed the fact that a thermostat itself is fairly cheap, most of the price that comes along with it is getting it fixed by a mechanic. If you are already somewhat confident in yourself with doing some car repairs at home, then this is something that you could try.

As mentioned before, you need to get the correct thermostat for your car so that it can fit the model, make, and year of your car. There are a ton of different ones that you can get out there, so you must choose the correct one before moving in with this job.

When you have made sure that you have the right thermostat for your car, then you could easily just find a bunch of websites that allow you to go through detailed step-by-step procedures of how to replace the thermostat of your car. Or, perhaps consider watching some videos.

We do, however, recommend that you go through some videos on YouTube to get some video demonstration of how to replace the thermostat. You will be able to find tons of videos on YouTube, made by really skilled mechanics and as long as you follow them properly, you will be able to finish your replacement procedure just as smoothly as them.

Benefits Of Getting Your Thermostat Replaced

A great benefit that you get from doing the repairs and replacement for the thermostat in your car by yourself is that you get to save a lot on the thermostat replacement cost and gain a new experience too if you had never done it.

There are of course a ton of benefits that you can get from spending some bucks as thermostat replacement cost. One of the major ones is the fact that you will get a better gas mileage and also be able to get a much smoother run out of your vehicle.

Thermostat Replacement Cost

Making sure that you do this repair as soon as you find out about it will also save you a ton of money from the extra damages that it would cause and the money that you would spend on refilling your gas. Having a newly replaced thermostat in your vehicle will also prevent cold air from being blown into your vehicle from the heater and it will also stop your engine from overheating.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the thermostat replacement cost of your car. We have sorted out some of the most popular ones for easier access to all the questions you might have.

1. What Exactly Is A Coolant?

A coolant is one of the most vital components that is needed for your vehicle as it is responsible for keeping the parts of your car engine working and also keeping it lubricated. The main purpose of using a coolant is to make sure that the heat is properly transferred and any damage done to the engine from boiling or freezing is prevented.

2. What Happens When You Use The Wrong Coolant?

If you were to use the wrong type of coolant, one that is not compatible with the system of your car, then you can end up facing issues such as component damage and corrosion. Not only will damages such as that lead to effects that can last long term, but they will also most certainly affect the overall lifespan of your vehicle.

3. Is It Safe To Drive An Engine That Has A Damaged Thermostat?

It is very unsafe to drive your vehicle when the thermostat in your vehicle is damaged just to save the thermostat replacement cost. If you have figured out that your vehicle has a damaged thermostat then you need to get that checked and immediately get that repaired. If you are unable to do that then you are certain to do some significant and some pricey damage to your vehicle.

4. When Exactly Should You Spend The Thermostat Replacement Cost?

As soon as you possibly can. Of course, your thermostat may either be stuck open or stuck close, if it is closed, it will overheat your car engine, and driving in that condition would be very dangerous, both for you and your vehicle. That needs to be fixed immediately.

While on the other hand, if your thermostat were to be stuck open, it would mean that the coolant is running around. While the mileage of your gas may be bad in that situation, you can still drive your vehicle in that condition. It is not at all recommended that you drive your vehicle in either of these conditions if you want to avoid long-term damage to your vehicle.

However, with the valve being stuck open, you have the option to at least drive your car to the nearest mechanic or repair shop and get it checked.

5. How Do You Know That Your Thermostat Has Gone Bad?

As we have already discussed before, there are some specific signs to notice which can tell you that your thermostat needs to be
replaced. These signs and symptoms are:

  • The temperatures in your vehicle are irregular
  • The temperatures in your vehicle fluctuate constantly
  • The coolant in your engine leaking out
  • Experiencing poor performance from your car engine
  • Your car engine is too cool or too hot

Final Words

Even though it is generally the case that a thermostat lasts you the entire lifetime of the vehicle that you are driving, there are always a few unexpected circumstances that may cause your thermostat to break.

If you notice any of the details we mentioned with your vehicle, then get your vehicle checked as soon as possible. This will allow you to cut down the thermostat replacement cost on your vehicle by a lot.

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