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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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.


  • 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

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