Keeping Your Cool: A Guide to Jeep Wrangler Thermostat Problems

A thermostat is a component of the engine cooling system of Jeep Wrangler that controls the temperature of the engine. Over time the thermostat can be problematic when the coolant of the radiator becomes contaminated. This contaminated coolant corrodes or damages the thermostat and it gets stuck in open or closed position. Jeep Thermostats can also malfunction when the engine gets overheated due to the failure of other components such as the water pump, radiator or hoses. 

Additionally, improper installation of the thermostat can lead to leaking of coolant from the thermostat housing and inaccurate reading of the temperature. Moreover, the thermostat can deteriorate after a long time of usage due to wear and tear. As a result, it will not function properly. 

What Are the Signs of a Faulty Thermostat?

The signs that will indicate that the Jeep Wrangler has a faulty thermostat are provided below.

Overheating and Overcooling: The Jeep Wrangler will excessively heat within a short period of time while driving. It happens when the thermostat gets stuck in the closed position and prevents coolant from passing through the radiator.

Alternately, the contrary can happen when a thermostat is stuck in an open position. The coolant overflows the radiator causing the engine to be overcold which does not let the engine warm up for functioning. 

Abnormal Noise: The radiator of the Jeep Wrangler will make abnormal noises like boiling, knocking, or rumbling. These are the signs that indicate there is a problem with the engine cooling system which is mainly happening due to a faulty thermostat. 

Gas Consumption Increased: The consumption of gas will increase significantly on the Jeep Wrangler. This happens when the engine cannot reach its operating temperature because of a faulty thermostat. 

Signs of a Faulty Thermostat

What Causes Jeep Wrangler Thermostat Problems?

There are various possibilities that can cause the Jeep Wrangler thermostat problems such as contaminated coolant, engine overheating, inadequate installation, and worn-out thermostat. 

1. Coolant Contaminated

The thermostat of the Jeep Wrangler can become faulty when the coolant gets contaminated. The coolant’s job is to keep the engine’s temperature at an operating level. It can get contaminated when the wrong type of coolant is used or mixed improperly. Coolant becomes thick after contamination which corrodes the thermostat over time, causing it to fail or malfunction. 

Solution to Contaminated Coolant

The coolant needs to be in good condition to keep the thermostat of the Jeep Wrangler in good shape, The coolant should be used according to the recommendation of the manufacturer such as Prestone, Zerex, etc. Coolant should be mixed in a ratio of 50:50 coolant and distilled water. Also, the coolant should be flushed immediately once it starts getting degraded. 

2. Engine Overheating

The Jeep Wrangler thermostat can malfunction if the engine overheats repeatedly. The other parts of the cooling system can also make the engine overheat not only thermostat. The factors include a bad water pump, low coolant in the radiator or a damaged radiator. 

Solution to Engine Overheating

When the engine is overheating continuously, it is recommended to check the entire engine cooling system thoroughly by a professional mechanic. Replace the components if any components are damaged or corroded. 

3. Inadequate Installation

Inadequate installation of the thermostat causes improper temperature readings, leaking or damaging the thermostat of the Jeep Wrangler. This mistake can severely impact the thermostat as well as the engine. The thermostat can get stuck during operation causing the engine to seize in no time if unnoticed. 

Solution to Inadequate Installation

It is important to install the thermostat of the Jeep Wrangler adequately. You can follow the process below for DIY installation. 

  • You have to drain the coolant from the radiator completely before removing the thermostat. To drain the coolant, remove the drain bolts from the radiator and keep something underneath to store it. 
  • After draining, remove the engine cover and the air intake hose to get on the thermostat housing.
  • Remove the thermostat housing by detaching the bolts from it, and make sure to clean the old gasket seal and put new one. 
  • Then, remove the old thermostat from the engine block and place a new thermostat in it. Insert the thermostat housing with a new gasket seal and attach the bolts again to install it completely. 
  • Simply, attach all the things that are removed during the process, and do not forget to refill the coolant before starting the engine. 

Be noted, that if you do not have the tools and knowledge for DIY repairs, it is advisable to take the vehicle to any certified workshop and they will diagnose the issue promptly. 

4. Worn-Out Thermostat

Jeep Wrangler thermostat can wear out or tear down when it is aged or reached its operational life just like other things. When it is worn out, it will no longer be able to read the engine temperature or it may get stuck during operating. 

Solution to Worn-Out Thermostat

Replacing the thermostat of the Jeep Wrangler would be the only option when it is worn out. You can replace the thermostat on your own if you have the sound knowledge and advanced tools for the DIY method. Or else, you can take the vehicle to any authorized service center for Jeep Wrangler to replace the thermostat. 

The thermostat of Jeep Wrangler comes within a price range of $10-$50 which is available in any mechanic shop or e-commerce site. 

Should I Repair or Replace Jeep Wrangler Thermostat?

The Jeep Wrangler cooling system relies on the thermostat. Unfortunately, fixing the thermostat won’t permanently solve the problem. It could get stuck into the engine block even after repair, causing engine failure or performance loss. 

It is necessary to get a new thermostat for the Jeep Wrangler. A New Thermostat will cost about $10-$50. This will provide a permanent solution for at least 8-10 years if the jeep is well maintained.

How Often Do Thermostats Need to Be Replaced?

Jeep Wrangler thermostats rarely need replacement. It depends on jeep maintenance and overheating incidents or if the thermostat was affected by the water pump, radiator or hoses. The average Jeep Wrangler thermostat lasts 8-10 years.

What Is the Average Cost of Replacing a Thermostat in a Jeep Wrangler?

The average cost of replacing a thermostat in a Jeep Wrangler will depend on how you are going to replace it. For DIY replacement, the average cost of replacing would be around $10-$50 which is only the cost of purchasing the thermostat. 

For a professional replacement, the average cost will add up with the labor or service cost which is around $10-$50 for the product and $80-$100 for the labor or service charge. 

How Long Do Jeep Wrangler Thermostats Last?

The Jeep Wrangler thermostat can last up to 8-10 years even though it depends on how you maintained the vehicle. It can go beyond the mentioned years if it is maintained properly or less than that due to poor maintenance. 

Can You Drive With a Bad Thermostat?

You can drive a Jeep Wrangler with a bad thermostat but to a certain limit. For example if the thermostat fails in a closed position then there is a risk of damaging the engine due to overheating. Conversely, If it fails in an open position the engine will not warm up easily especially in winter which can cause trouble in driving.

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