Replace Your Toyota Thermostat, Like a Pro

Your Toyota’s thermostat is the bouncer between the excited coolant patrons of the radiator, and the super-hot party happening within your engine. The thermostat creates a safe environment for your engine in both cold and hot weather situations. The engine generates heat, which at a certain temperature is necessary to work properly. The thermostat, like a bouncer maintaining the raucous patrons of a club, maintains that heat and then circulates coolant accordingly. The thermostat will open and close as the coolant temperature changes, to keep the engine operating at the right temperature. Depending on what model you have, your Toyota thermostat will open between 180 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are planning on replacing your Toyota thermostat, make sure you know what kind your Toyota takes. If you buy the wrong type, then this could lead to a malfunctioning engine. Ready to begin the replacement process?

  • We will first start the replacement process of your Toyota thermostat with retrieving the necessary tools for the project. The tools you will need include, a screwdriver or pliers, a socket wrench, an adjustable wrench, a clean rag and a bucket or drip pan. Besides buying the correct thermostat, as far as supplies go, you will need a gasket and gasket sealant.
  • Once you have gathered the necessary supplies, you must confirm all safety measures have been established so you can focus on the work at hand. Proper safety tips include, having a first aid kit ready to use, making sure you have safety stands if you are raising your vehicle, and if the engine will be running, allowing suitable ventilation for the fumes. Finally, for obvious reasons, don’t smoke while working around the engine, use the manufacturer’s instructions, don’t work on the coolant system while the engine is hot and overall, and use caution and good sense when working on your Toyota thermostat.
  • You now have the right tools, supplies, and safety measures in place, and are ready to change a Toyota thermostat. Once your car is level, and are positive the engine is cool, drain the coolant system.
  • Next, remove the radiator hose. It is attached to the thermostat housing and can be removed by taking of the clamp holding it on with your pliers or screwdriver. Once the clamp is off, you should be able to twist and wiggle the hose off, but you may have to use a spray lubricant if it’s too difficult to loosen. When the hose is removed, there will be some coolant pouring out, just to warn you. Loosen the bolts on the thermostat housing, using your socket or adjustable wrench, and proceed with removing the cover and the thermostat. Use the clean rag to stuff inside the exposed opening to keep fragments from falling inside. Remember how the Toyota thermostat was positioned for the rest of the process.
  • It is now time to install the new thermostat. The copper heat sensing element should face toward the engine. Installing the thermostat upside down is like putting the bouncer at the back exit of a club, it’s useless. If you want the thermostat to work properly, make sure it is installed properly.
  • Now look at the water jacket for corrosion. Remove any thick corroded pieces, making sure not to allow any of it to drop within the water jacket. Clean off any old gasket or glue that remains on the rims of the thermostat housing as well. If using the scraper to do this, be very careful not scratch the aluminium housing. Install the new gasket and tighten the housing down. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s specifications for tightening.

You have reached the end of the replacement process! Reattach the radiator hose, add engine coolant and, once everything is attached and cleaned up, run the engine to full operating temperature. Doing this will help you confirm there is no leaks or air pockets within the system. Drive the car around, looking at your temperature gauge for assurance that it is running correctly with the new Toyota thermostat. When you have completed driving, check once more for leaks and check your coolant level too. You have now successfully replaced your Toyota thermostat and the car is ready to take the heat once again.

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