While many people are familiar with the major parts in their vehicle, there are all kinds of smaller parts that play a vital role as well. The thermostat is one of those parts that many don't think about, but is extremely important to your car. It can be found between your radiator and your engine, and is relatively small in size. In a typical car, it's about two inches in diameter. This makes it pretty easy to look past it unless you're looking for it.

The thermostat works to block the coolant that is flowing to the radiator until the engine warms up to the correct temperature. There is a little valve that opens up in order to let the coolant flow. So if the engine is warm, coolant runs through it, if the engine is cold, it blocks the coolant.

It is recommended you buy a good quality thermostat when it needs replacing. This is an investment that will benefit your engine. A secondary benefit to a good quality thermostat is that it will help with fuel efficiency. The thermostat has four main parts which are the: flange, frame, heat motor (this is where you'll find the valve), and spring.

For best results finding a quality thermostat for your vehicle, consider these tips:

  • Appropriate for your vehicle: There are some thermostats that may not reach the correct heat in order for the coolant to be released, so it's a good idea to refer to your owner's manual.

  • Age of car: The age of your car will help to determine what the best thermostat is for you.

  • Buy new: You want to be sure you’re purchasing a brand new part, rather than a refurbished or used part.

  • Premium and additional features: It's important to note there are some models that have a disk at the bottom of it. There are also "premium" thermostats available on the market. These feature heat motors that are bigger, and sturdier springs and frames.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality thermostats to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a thermostat that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on thermostat replacement.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Thermostat and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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