car thermostats


Asked by Dec 12, 2010 at 06:19 PM about the Dodge Spirit

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

What is the difference or purpose behind a lower degree thermostat and a higher degree thermostat (what season do you use which) and how do you test to see if the thermostat is faulty and are fail safe thermostats worth it?

3 Answers


generally most cars run a thermostat between 190 and 210, any lower or higher than this it sort of begins to affect performance of the car, ive never heard of a "fail safe thermostat" from what i know of they all work on the same principle of wax melting at a specific temperature allows a spring loaded valve to open. but the best idea is to just stay with the 210 degree stat your car prolly came with


I have herd of the fail safe thermostats and have herd of people having problems with them so I would stick with a regular one. You can test a thermostat by placing it in boiling water to see if it opens. A lower degree thermostat will open sooner than a higher degree one will. I generally use a 185 degree thermostat and don't change it for different seasons, but some people use a lower degree thermostat for the summer and a higher degree thermostat for the winter. The reason they use a lower temp thermostat is to cycle the coolant through the radiator at a lower temperature to keep the engine cooler. The reverse is true for a higher temp thermostat, which is why it is used in the winter.


Lower Degree thermostats are for warmer climates, like the southern states. Higher degree T-stats are for Colder to Extreme cold Temps. To test a T-stat; Put some water in a pot, drop the T-stat in, bring to a boil and watch it, when you see the thermostat move (Open), check the temperature of the water. The Temp marked on the T-stat should be the same as the temp reading of the water.

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