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How to Change a Thermostat on a Dodge Dakota

by Nathaniel Miller

Thermostats are devices inside the cooling system of a car that allow the water to circulate throughout the engine to cool down the various mechanical parts. An engine does not run optimally unless it is at a particular, regulated temperature. And a thermostat is a type of valve that is designed to open when the engine reaches a particular temperature. When that temperature is reached, the thermostat valve opens and the water circulates through the engine cooling it and regulating it. In the Dodge Dakota, a medium-sized pickup truck, it could be a devastating breakdown if the thermostat sticks or breaks as the entire engine may be destroyed from overheating. Changing the thermostat in a Dodge Dakota is not difficult and could save you significant money and time in the long run.

Step 1

Crawl under the truck and locate the radiator drain plug at the lower passenger side corner of the radiator.

Step 2

Use the socket set to remove the drain plug and let the radiator fluid drain out into the catch pan.

Step 3

Locate the thermostat. On the 4.7-liter engine it is located at the end of the hose coming out of the radiator. On the 3.9-liter and 5.9-liter engines it is located at the top radiator hose where it goes into the engine. Follow the radiator hoses until you find where the thermostat is bolted in.

Step 4

Use the screwdriver to remove the bolts and slide the hose off of the thermostat.

Step 5

Place the new thermostat in its place. Screw the bolts back in to mount the thermostat securely.

Step 6

Fill the radiator with a 50-50 water to coolant mixture up to the recommended amount.

Start the truck up to see if the thermostat is opening or not.

Warning

  • Wear goggles and gloves when draining the coolant and do not store it uncapped as it is dangerous to children and animals.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver (flathead)
  • New thermostat
  • Socket set
  • Drainage catch pan

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