How to Replace a Thermostat on a 2001 Chevy Malibu

by Christian KillianUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Socket set w/ratchet

  • Gasket scraper

Replacing the thermostat in your Chevy Malibu will ensure a cooler running engine and protect the engine over the long term. Overheating of the engine in your car can cause severe damage to the block, cylinder heads and other components, leading to expensive repairs. The thermostat in your Malibu is located right in front on the intake manifold just below the air intake for the fuel injection. Thermostats can be purchased at any auto parts store and the Chevy dealer.

Position a drain pan under the radiator drain petcock on the bottom of the radiator. Remove the radiator cap from the radiator. Then open the valve and drain the coolant until it is below the level of the thermostat housing. Close the petcock with your hand, making sure it is tight. You should not need to use a wrench on the petcock.

Locate the water neck on the front of the engine where it connects to the intake manifold. Remove the two retaining bolts with a socket and ratchet and place them in a safe place for use later.

Remove the water neck from the engine by pulling it straight off the manifold and move it out of the way. Remove the thermostat from the intake manifold and discard it. Scrape off any gasket material that may be stuck on the manifold or water neck with a gasket scraper.

Place a new thermostat into the intake manifold, making sure that the top of the thermostat is facing out. Insert the mounting bolts into the holes in the water neck and position the new gasket on the bolts.

Position the water neck on the manifold and over the thermostat. Tighten the two bolts with a socket and ratchet. Tighten them evenly working back and forth from bolt to bolt until they are tight.

Fill the radiator with new coolant until the system is full. Always use Dex-cool or equivalent coolant at a mix ratio of 50 percent coolant to 50 percent water in your Malibu as specified by General Motors.

Test the repair by starting the car and letting. Watch the temperature gauge to ensure the engine is running within the desired temperature range.

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