Car Thermostat Replacement Cost

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

The car’s thermostat, a physical valve which controls the engine temperature, will block the coolant flow to the radiator until the engine reaches a designated temperature, allowing the engine to warm up efficiently and quickly.

This thermostat, either controlled electronically or mechanically, will remain closed while the engine warms up to allow the coolant inside the engine to heat.  Once the engine reaches its target temperature, this part will then open, allowing the coolant to circulate throughout the vehicle’s entire system.

Clean Engine Bay by robad0b, on Flickr
Clean Engine Bay” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by robad0b

The average car thermostat replacement costs reported

The costs of replacing a car’s thermostat will really depend on the mechanic/dealership you choose, your geographical location and the car you drive.  From what we researched, the professional mechanic rate ranges anywhere from $95 to $300. 

Average prices found online
BMW 535i$325
Chevrolet Corvette$165
Chevrolet Silverado 1500$155
Chrysler PT Cruiser$175
Ford F-150$175
Honda Accord$200
Honda Civic$175
Honda CR-V$155
Nissan Altima$150
Nissan Quest$200
Toyota Corolla$145

Parts, on average, can cost $15 to $40, while labor, seeing it’s often less than a one-hour job, will command the shop’s minimum rate, which is often anywhere from $65 to $100+ per hour, depending on the geographical location.

Parts on, for example, will cost less than $11 to $25., according to the mechanics in its system, charges anywhere from $127 to $253, all depending on the type of vehicle.

Car thermostat repair process

Before the thermostat is deemed the only faulty part, a mechanic will first want to inspect the entire cooling system, including the heater hoses, cooling fans and water pump, to make sure the other parts in working order.  At this time, they will also check any engine codes in case your check engine light is on. Often performing a pressure test to determine leaks, a mechanic will recommend new hoses if leaks are suspected or the hoses are in poor working order.  Aside from the pressure test, he or she will also check the engine’s temperature and thermostat’s opening by using a sensor.  If this test indicates a higher-than-average temperature, then the mechanic will inspect for more signs of engine damage, again, to see if the thermostat is more than the problem.

To replace the thermostat, the coolant from the vehicle will first be drained, followed by removing the thermostat housing and thermostat entirely from the engine.  Today, most modern-day engines will have thermostats which are attached to the thermostat housing and the entire part will need to be replaced.  Once removed, the surface, between the housing and engine, will be cleaned and the gasket will be replaced at this time as well.  The new thermostat and housing will be replaced in reverse order and the cooling system will be refilled with fresh coolant.  Finally, the system will be bled of any air and the car will be taken for a test drive to ensure the car is in working order.

The entire job, for most vehicles, will take about 60 minutes.

Signs of a faulty car thermostat

If a thermostat fails to work, it often remains open, allowing the engine to run cooler than it normally should.  If this were to happen, then your “check engine” light will often illuminate.  However, this isn’t always the case as the check engine light may remain off, but some owners may notice poor gas mileage or a heater which blows cool air.

If the thermostat remains in the closed condition, then this means the coolant will not be signaled to make its way to the engine, effectively causing the engine to overheat.

A thermostat, if you suspect it’s either in the closed or open position, should be fixed immediately as it can cause your engine to overheat, which, left untreated, can cause a blown head gasket, coolant leaks or if you drive on it for too long — a blown engine.  Even if left open, the engine may not fail, however, you will notice a significant difference in your fuel efficiency and the car’s heater will not work as it should.

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