How to Install a Thermostat for Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer

When the thermostat located inside of the coolant system of your Chevrolet car Chevy Chevrolet car stops working, your first clue is the lack of heat produced by the heater. Chevy designed the thermostat in the Chevrolet car to fail in the "safe" position. This prevents the engine from overheating but it also prevents the coolant from reaching the operating temperatures needed to effectively heat the inside of the vehicle. If the thermostat fails in the summer, this is not an issue, but once winter rolls around, you'll quickly decide that it is time to change the thermostat for a new one.

Under The Hood:

 How to Install a Thermostat for a Chevy S-10

Remove the Old Thermostat

Open the hood to access the engine compartment. Trace the top radiator hose from the radiator to the engine.

Locate the two bolts at the top of the housing to which the hose is clamped. The thermostat is located in the housing.

Unbolt the nut with a socket wrench. There will be ground wires sharing the stud. Unscrew the remaining bolt with a socket wrench.

Pull the housing cover off with your fingers. This will give you access to the thermostat. Pull the thermostat out with your fingers. Remember the position the thermostat was sitting in the housing so you put the new thermostat in correctly. Notice whether the spring was facing the housing cover or the engine.

Clean the housing surface with a putty knife or a razor blade. Scrape all the remaining gasket material off both the cover and the housing.

Install the New Thermostat

Place the new thermostat in the housing. Ensure it goes in the same way the old thermostat was positioned before removal.

Place the new gasket around the surface of the thermostat housing. Ensure the gasket lines up to the stud and the bolt hole on the housing.

Place the cover onto the housing. Tighten the bolt with a socket wrench. Place the ground wires onto the stud and tighten the nut with a socket wrench.

Open the radiator cap to access the coolant level. Check to ensure the coolant is full. The coolant should be visible at the neck of the radiator.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Putty knife

  • Razor blade

  • New thermostat

  • Thermostat gasket

 How to Install a Thermostat in My Chevrolet Silverado

Locate the upper radiator hose. Disconnect it from the thermostat housing.

Using your socket set remove the top portion of the radiator housing. You might have to pry it loose with a flathead screwdriver as the gasket has made a seal between the top and bottom portion of the housing.

Remove the old thermostat. The thermostat will be laying in the housing. The thermostat will lift right out.

Place the thermostat with the pointed end upward. It will sit in the housing.

Scrape off the old gasket material around the housing area. You can do this by scraping with a puddy knife or a razor blade.

Place the new gasket on the surface of the housing. The gasket does not need any silicone as it will seal as you tighten the housing.

Line up the top end of the housing to the bottom end. Torque the bolts down snug after you have lined up the housing.

Place the radiator hose in the inlet pipe of the housing. Tighten down the hose clamp.

Check your water level as you might have lost some coolant in the process. Crank up your truck and watch for leaks and overheating.

Items you will need

  • Flathead screwdriver

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • New thermostat

  • New gasket

 How to Install a Thermostat on a 1996 Chevy Cavalier

Make sure the engine is cool. Open the hood of your 1996 Chevy Cavalier. Remove the radiator cap. Place a large, shallow pan under the radiator. Unscrew the drain plug on the radiator and allow the coolant to drain into the pan.

Locate the lower radiator hose, which runs between the radiator and the Cavalier's engine. Attach an 8 mm socket to the ratchet. Remove the bolts that secure the thermostat housing cap to the engine. Remove the housing cap.

Pull out the defective thermostat and its rubber O-ring. Clean the mating surfaces of the housing with a soft cloth. Install the new thermostat and O-ring. The thermostat will only fit when inserted in one direction.

Replace the thermostat housing cap. Replace the bolts holding the housing to the radiator.

Fill the radiator with fresh coolant. Start the engine and let it run to work the air out of the engine block. Add coolant as necessary. Shut the engine off and close the hood.

After driving the car, check the coolant again, and top off if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Large shallow pan

  • Eight mm socket

  • Ratchet

  • Replacement thermostat and "O"-ring

  • Soft cloth

 How Do I Install a Thermostat on a 2000 Monte Carlo?

Drive the Monte Carlo onto a set of ramps and secure the parking brake.

Open the engine hood and prop it with the hood prop. Open the radiator cap to release pressure on the cooling system. Do not open the cap on a hot engine. Allow the engine to cool adequately.

Place a drain pan under the petcock located on the bottom of the radiator. Open the petcock with a pair of pliers and drain about 2 gallons of fluid into the drain pan. Close the petcock. This lowers the level of fluid in the system so you do not get drenched in fluid when you remove the upper radiator hose.

Locate the upper radiator hose and trace it back to the engine. It connects to the T-Stat housing with a band clamp. Use the pliers to loosen the band clamp by squeezing the two compression tabs on the clamp together. Pull the hose off the T-Stat housing.

Remove the two bolts that secure the thermostat to the engine block with a 7/16-inch socket and ratchet. Use an extension bar to give you room to turn the ratchet.

Lift the T-Stat housing off the engine block and discard the old thermostat gasket.

Lift the thermostat out of the engine block with your fingers. It sits on a machined lip inside the engine but does not bolt into place.

Wipe the mating surfaces of the engine and the T-Stat housing clean of any old debris with a clean shop rag.

Place the spring end of the new thermostat into the engine block. The end with the pin sticks into the T-Stat housing.

Place a thermostat gasket on top of the engine block and then place the T-Stat housing onto the engine block. Bolt it back into place.

Slide the radiator hose onto the T-Stat housing and secure it with the band clamp.

Drain the radiator fluid back into the radiator via the radiator filler spout. Place the cap back onto the radiator.

Items you will need

  • Ramps

  • Drain pan

  • Pliers

  • 7/16-inch socket

  • Ratchet

  • Extension bar

  • Shop rag

  • Thermostat

  • Thermostat gasket