Mini models rely on a thermostat to keep it functioning on the road, so when this component goes bad, it throws a wrench into your plans. The thermostat is a temperature-regulating device and is an integral part of the engine. It is responsible for keeping engine temperatures within a normal range to ensure functionality. There is no specific mileage recommendation of when to replace the thermostat in your Mini, so it’s best to know the signs of a malfunctioning device.
Coolant flows through the thermostat and then into the radiator to disperse hot air out of the engine. The coolant can go from one extreme of cold to hot, which is what the thermostat is designed to handle: it regulates the temperature of the coolant.
The valve opens and closes depending on the amount of coolant flowing through at that specific time. When you start your vehicle first thing in the morning, the thermostat stays closed, forcing heated coolant back into the engine, rather than allowing it to escape through the radiator. This allows it to heat the engine to optimal temperatures.
Four Signs you Need to Replace Your Thermostat
We’ve listed some common indicators that your thermostat is beginning to fail:
- Coolant level problems: When your Mini needs coolant, you fill it to the line located on the side of the tank. In a normally-functioning vehicle, coolant typically goes a long way. However, if you find your coolant tank draining quickly, you may have a thermostat problem and a coolant leak. If the level of coolant does not change at all, this indicates the thermostat is stuck in the closed position.
- Temperature gauge problems: The thermostat is in a location under the hood that is easily accessible. To check if the temperature gauge is working properly, take a pair of needle-nose pliers and remove the thermostat. Have a hot bowl of water and take its temperature with a cooking thermometer. Place the thermostat into the bowl. If the thermostat instantly spikes, does not move, or exceeds the known temperature of the water, it is malfunctioning, and it is time to replace it.
- High temperatures: Your Mini is equipped with a gauge on the dashboard to alert you of the engine’s temperature. When your engine stays overheated or close to the red line on the gauge for too long, it indicates the thermostat is not doing its job. When you start your vehicle and the gauge almost immediately shoots up towards the red line, it is time to replace the thermostat before irreversible damage is done to the engine.
- Cold temperatures: There is a common myth that an engine can only be damaged by overheating, but this is not true. If the thermostat gets stuck in the “open” position, coolant is able to flow freely, regardless of the temperature, which will cool the engine. The engine being too cold may lead to costly mechanical problems.
Escondido German Auto
Waiting to replace the thermostat until a failure of some sort has occurred may result in extensive damage and costly repairs to the engine. It is recommended to replace the thermostat when you are replacing the water pump, radiator hoses, or flushing the coolant.
Escondido German Auto was established to offer quality Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche, Sprinter, and Volkswagen maintenance and repair services. We proudly serve the drivers near Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, and Valley Center, CA and all the surrounding communities.
We offer ASE Certified Mechanics, German factory-trained staff, and the latest and greatest diagnostic tools available. At Escondido German Auto, we understand the importance of your German vehicle operating in pristine condition, which is why we strive to provide extraordinary work every time.
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