How to Change Out the Thermostat on a Lumina Car

by Carl Pruit

An overheating engine is extremely harmful to your vehicle's performance and longevity. If an engine continues to overheat, it can cause everything from a cracked head gasket to a cracked block. Regular maintenance and attention to the cooling system of your Chevrolet Lumina can prevent heat damage and save you the expense of putting your car in the shop. Changing your thermostat is an easy way to keep your car running smoothly if you experience any trouble with your cooling system.

Step 1

Open the hood of your Chevrolet Lumina car and locate the radiator hose running from the top of the radiator to the engine. At the end of the hose, next to the engine, you will see an aluminum tube going into the engine. The thermostat is located inside the aluminum tubing.

Step 2

Remove the radiator cap from the top of the radiator. Locate the radiator drain plug at the bottom of the radiator. Place drain pan under drain plug and turn plug by hand until coolant starts running out. If drain plug is too tight, gently use a pair of pliers to turn plug. When coolant level is below the level of the aluminum tube, tighten drain plug to stop release of coolant.

Step 3

Loosen the bolts on the aluminum tubing to remove from the engine block. Once you remove the aluminum tube, you will find the thermostat inside the tube. Remove thermostat and clean face of the engine block from any remaining gasket material with emery cloth.

Step 4

Place ring of gasket seal around the face of new thermostat, being careful not to get any sealant in the thermostat springs. Place thermostat back on the engine block and position aluminum tube around thermostat. Secure tubing to engine block with bolts.

Step 5

Replace drained coolant with new coolant by pouring it into the radiator until full. Secure radiator cap back on radiator. Turn vehicle engine on and allow to run until engine is warmed up. Check temperature to make sure thermostat is working properly. Remove drain pan and dispose of expended coolant at local recycling center or automotive supply store.

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