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My Engine’s Temperature Keeps Going From Hot to Cold to Hot Again

Let’s talk about your car’s thermostat. This cooling system part lasts approximately 10 years before it malfunctions. Once it does malfunction, however, you will notice some strange things going on with your car, truck, or utility vehicle. Getz Automotive is going to list the signs of a dying thermostat below. If you notice any of the following problems, bring your vehicle to our shop for a thermostat check.

Wild Temperature Changes

One wacky thing that you will notice is your engine’s temperature will go from cold to hot back and forth while you are driving your automobile. This is a sign that the thermostat is malfunctioning. The thermostat opens a valve that releases the coolant into the engine. It does this when the engine temperature starts to rise beyond its threshold. If the thermostat is unable to track the engine’s temperature accurately, it may open and close the valve sporadically, and, as a consequence, you will end up with sporadic temperature changes due to the erratic coolant flow. Replacing the malfunctioning thermostat will resolve this problem and restore your engine’s normal temperature.

Leaking Thermostat

An older thermostat can also develop a leak. The leak may be a major one or a minor one. If the leak is a major one, you will end up with coolant spots on the garage floor. The color of your engine coolant could be one of many shades. Engine coolant comes in yellow, yellow-green, green, blue-green, and even red. Check your radiator overflow reservoir to determine the color of the coolant in your engine. If you see spots of the same color on the garage floor, the thermostat has a major leak.

A minor leak will not leave you with spots on your garage floor but it will corrode the thermostat. If the thermostat’s valve gets stuck in the closed position, the coolant will be pushed out of the thermostat and pool around it. Consequently, you will end up with a gel-like substance all around the thermostat housing. This, too, is an indication that your thermostat has a leak and needs to be replaced.

Overheating Engine

Whether the thermostat is malfunctioning or leaking, you will end up with an overheating engine if your thermostat is going bad. In fact, your engine might overheat within minutes after you have started your automobile. If the engine overheats quickly, this definitely points to the thermostat.

Call Getz Automotive in Fuquay-Varina, NC, today if you are experiencing any of the problems listed above. We will inspect your thermostat and replace it if necessary.

photo by Engine Bay via Canva Pro
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