The thermostat in a vehicle is a device,which regulates the amount of coolant, allowed to flow into the radiator. The thermostat is located in between the radiator and the engine and is only about 2 inches in diameter. This device regulates the amount of coolant that can flow to the radiator until the engine reaches its desired temperature of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Letting the engine warm up before letting coolant flow into it will reduce wear and tear and help with deposits and emissions. Without a proper working thermostat, the engine will be less efficient and could possibly overheat.
The thermostat works by using a small cylinder on the engine side of the device. This small cylinder is filled with wax that begins to melt at around 180 F/82 C. A rod which is connected to the valve presses into the wax. When the wax begins to melt, it will expand therefore pushing the rod out of the cylinder which will open the valve. There is a wide variety of thermostats available to be put on different engines. Most automotive thermostats are known as “pellet type”, which comes from the wax pellet that expands as the engine coolant warms. Some high-range thermostats can maintain engine temperatures at over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Having an engine that operates at this temperature causes the engine to burn up more pollutants and helps in emissions control. The type of engine thermostat used is chosen depending on the type of engine, load requirements, and the weather the engine will operate in.
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