Faulty Thermostat Symptoms

Updated February 21, 2017

The engine of a car is a more delicate piece of machinery than many people realise. If the engine runs too hot or too cold, multiple elements may be affected. The thermostat is supposed to prevent engines from experiencing extreme temperature variations while running. The thermostat is designed to close when the engine is too cold to allow it to build up heat and to open and allow coolant through when the engine is too hot. A malfunctioning or faulty thermostat will not perform its job adequately and can cause severe problems for your vehicle if not promptly repaired.

High Engine Temperature

In the event that a car's thermostat becomes stuck closed or fails to open when it is supposed to, the engine will not receive the coolant it needs to maintain correct engine temperature. Instead, the engine will run too hot and overheat. When an engine overheats, it can cause serious problems.

Low Engine Temperature

Running an engine for long periods at too low a temperature can cause increased fuel consumption and may even lead to some parts being damaged by oil not warming up correctly and lubricating properly.

No Heater

It can be harder to notice if an engine is running too cool than it is when it is running too hot. However, if your thermostat is stuck open, your engine may not warm up enough for the vehicle's heater to operate. The heater provides warmth using hot water from your engine's cooling system. If the engine is too cool, your heater will continue to blow cold even after the vehicle should have warmed up.

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About the Author

Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.