How to Change a Thermostat in a 2001 Impala

by Russell Wood

On a 2001 Chevrolet Impala, the thermostat helps control the flow of coolant into the engine. When the thermostat opens up, coolant flows from the radiator into the engine block. When the thermostat breaks, it can either break open or shut. If it's open, the coolant never has a chance to cool down in the radiator, causing problems with the system. If it's shut, coolant doesn't flow correctly at all. The fix is replacing the thermostat, which can be done at home.


Allow the engine to completely cool. Then place the drain pan underneath the radiator. Open the petcock at the base of the radiator using your hand and drain out the coolant.


Open the hood. Locate the thermostat on the top of the engine, just to the left of the throttle body. Unbolt the top of the housing from the engine using the 3/8-inch ratchet, extension and sockets and lift off the thermostat housing with the radiator hose still attached. Lift out the old thermostat and discard it, then clean both sides of the thermostat housing with the gasket scraper.


Install the replacement thermostat in the engine block and place the gasket included with the kit on top of that. Coat the edges of the thermostat gasket with a light coat of the RTV sealant, then reinstall the thermostat housing using the 3/8-inch ratchet, extension and sockets.


Open up the radiator cap and fill the radiator with the 50-50 pre-mixed Dex-Cool coolant.


  • close Always allow the engine to cool completely before working on the cooling system. Otherwise you risk burning yourself. A 2001 Impala requires the use of GM Dex-Cool coolant, so make sure you use that when changing your fluids.

Items you will need


About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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