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.

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Spirit in your area?

CarGurus has 11 nationwide Spirit listings and the tools to find you a great deal.


Dodge Spirit Experts

  • #1
    Stephen Garza
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Dodge Sprinter Cargo
3 Great Deals out of 180 listings starting at $4,890
Used Dodge Sprinter Passenger
20 listings starting at $14,990
Used Dodge Shadow
3 listings
Used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo
3 Great Deals out of 2,897 listings starting at $10,991
Used Honda Element
18 Great Deals out of 957 listings starting at $2,495
Used Ford Mustang
256 Great Deals out of 38,495 listings starting at $1,350
Used Dodge Durango
287 Great Deals out of 25,914 listings starting at $1,500
Used Subaru Forester
250 Great Deals out of 33,328 listings starting at $1,400
Used Dodge Challenger
146 Great Deals out of 23,904 listings starting at $7,995
Used Ford Taurus
181 Great Deals out of 16,027 listings starting at $1,173

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.