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So, Thermostats Control The Flow Of Engine Coolant; Through The Entire Cooling System
Above all, the thermostat in your vehicle; is very important and has to function flawlessly. So, the thermostat must get the engine to; heat up to its optimum temperature; as quickly as possible. Also, once it reaches that optimum temperature; it must be kept there. So, that the engine runs at its peak performance.
Consequently, thermostats are just a simple valve; that opens and closes; to control the flow of coolant through your engine.
So, all engines are going to function the best; when they reach and stay at their optimum temperatures. Consequently, the sooner that happens; the more efficient your engine will run.
Basically Thermostats Have Two Jobs
1- To accelerate engine warm-up time:
- By blocking the circulation of coolant between the engine and radiator; until the engine has reached its predetermined temperature.
2- To regulate the engine’s operating temperature:
- By opening and closing in response; to specific changes in coolant temperature. Therefore, keeping the engine’s temperature; within the desired operating range.
So, How Do Thermostats Control The Flow Of Engine Coolant
- When the engine is cold; the thermostat is normally closed; restricting coolant flow to the radiator. As a result, allowing the engine to “warm up”.
- As the engine warms; the increase in heat; causes the wax to melt and expand. Consequently, pushing against a piston inside a rubber boot.
- This forces the piston outward; opening the thermostat. So, coolant can start to circulate between the engine and radiator.
- As heat increases, it opens; until engine cooling requirements are satisfied.
- If the temperature of the circulating coolant begins to drop; the wax element contracts. As a result, allowing spring tension to close the thermostat; which decreases coolant flow through the radiator.
Of course, there are outside influences which; may affect the temperature of the engine as well. The temperature of the environment around you is a perfect example of this. But, as long as you have a functional thermostat; then it will know when to perform either task.
As With Many Engine Problems, Overheating Is Usually The First Sign Of Trouble.
So, most drivers are used to their temperature gauge; showing a normal temperature. However, if you have a faulty thermostat; you will notice the temperature gauge, moving toward the red area very quickly. This indicates that the engine is unusually; getting hotter and it needs to be cooled off soon. Finally, this symptom should occur within 10 or 15 minutes of starting your engine.
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