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Hagerty Employee

Wrenchin' Wednesday: Don't touch the thermostat ... again!

Thermostats are one of the most misunderstood parts of a car, yet they're also vital for regulating your vehicle's temperature across a range of operation conditions. Their primary role is to bypass the radiator when the coolant is cold, thereby retaining heat when below operating temp, before opening up to flow hot coolant through the radiator once the operating temp has been reached. Contrary to popular belief, throwing in a cooler thermostat will not solve overheating problems—the vehicle will still hit the peak temperature it wants to hit while running hot—but the baseline temp of the operating range will be lower under light loads, which can have its benefits.


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