Your Jeep thermostat is responsible for regulating the engine temperature to a safe limit and preventing it from overheating. Regardless of how important the task they perform, they have quite a simple configuration as they consist of a valve.
Today, we’re going to debunk some myths and theories about your Jeep Wrangler thermostat replacement – when a replacement is needed, symptoms of a failing thermostat, drawbacks of not replacing a damaged thermostat on time, and the total cost of replacement. So without further ado, let’s begin!
Most vehicle experts recommend replacing a jeep Wrangler thermostat after ten to eleven years but your Jeep’s thermostat may fail to deliver the same performance much earlier for certain reasons.
Some of these negative factors are bad engines, rough driving, harsh weather, and downgraded thermostat components. Whatever the factor causing your thermostat to work inappropriately, make sure to replace the damaged thermostat as soon as possible. Otherwise, constant overheating will degrade the engine quality and reduce the system’s overall efficiency.
The question which arises here is how you can predict that your thermostat has started to fail. Well, it’s quite easy since all you have to do is to look for the following symptoms.
The first and foremost reason for a failing thermostat is that your engine will begin to overheat more frequently. Since the thermostat regulates the proper circulation of coolant, its inaccurate functioning will affect the coolant circulation which in turn will cause the system’s overheating.
Besides an overheated engine, a cold engine is also a sign of a faulty thermostat. This happens when your vehicle’s thermostat is stuck open as a result of which the engine never hits operating temperature.
Another sign of a faulty thermostat is that the engine lights will always be beaming on your vehicle’s dashboard. Along with these indicator lights, some error codes will also be displayed which will confirm whether the problem is related to the thermostat or not. Thus, in this case, you need to call a professional who can read codes and propose a suitable solution.
Leaking coolant is also a sign of a faulty thermostat. However, you should not doubt the functionality of your thermostat unless the coolant is leaking out from the thermostat housing. Remember that the coolant may leak from other parts of the vehicle as well so get certain about the leakage point before replacing the thermostat.
If your engine emits too many knocking, rumbling, and gurgling sounds, take it as a sign of a failing thermostat. Besides the engine, such unusual sounds may also be heard from the vibrator.
Last but not least symptom of a faulty thermostat is increased fuel consumption. Since the improper functioning of the thermostat is causing your engine to overcool or overheat, this in turn leads to more exhaust emission.
If your vehicle thermostat is stuck to an open position, it will cause the circulation of coolant which in turn drops the vehicle’s inner temperature. In this stuck open position, the hot air from the heaters won’t be able to flow through the corresponding vents so it won’t matter how many times you turn your heater up, the cabin’s temperature will remain the same.
Even though you can drive with a faulty thermostat and it will allow you to travel from one place to another, it’s also true that you should avoid doing so. The constant overheating, sudden temperature fluctuations, and high knocking may damage your vehicle’s other important parts too which in turn not only decreases its performance quality but also its service life.
Before you finally move to replace your thermostat, conduct a final test to get sure about your suspicions. For this purpose, all you need to do is to remove the cap of the radiator and run the engine idly. If the coolant starts flowing right away, it means the thermostat is stuck in an open position.
On the other hand, if the coolant starts flowing after ten to twenty minutes (when your engine warms up), it means the thermostat is working correctly.
However, if the coolant doesn’t flow in the radiator but the temperature gauge rises on the dashboard, it means your thermostat is stuck in a closed position.
Besides, there are also some other ways to test a faulty thermostat. For example, you may physically remove the thermostat from the vehicle and dip it in a pot of water. Then place the pot on the stove and note the temperature at which your thermostat opens. Once done, remove the thermostat from the pot and wait for a few minutes until the thermostat gets closed. Lastly, compare these opening and closing temperature readings to the manual.
The jeep wrangler thermostat replacement cost may vary as per your location but on average, it ranges from $380-$400. You can save money by replacing the thermostat on your own which in turn will cut down the labor cost.
However, it’s not feasible every time since in some cases, you need specialized tools and equipment to replace the thermostat. Also, if you are inexperienced, you better hire a professional for this job. But still, you can save huge on the replacement cost by sourcing and comparing quotes from different car mechanics in your area.
Can a thermostat damage an engine?
For sure it can! You can undoubtedly run your vehicle with a damaged thermostat but won’t be able to do this for a long time. The frequent and sudden temperature changes will eventually damage your jeep’s engine so you better replace the faulty thermostat on time.
What causes the thermostat to fail?
The thermostat mostly fails due to contamination; when you mix two incompatible coolants or when you don’t change the old coolant as per the owner’s instructions. Besides, an old thermostat may also stop functioning properly due to its weakened springs.
Is replacing a thermostat expensive?
The answer is both yes and no based on your location. If you go for the DIY thermostat replacement, you can save since all you have to pay for is to buy a new thermostat.