How to Replace the Thermostat in a 2000 Chevy Cavalier

by Zyon SilketUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Box wrench

  • Thermostat

  • RTV silicone

Over time, engine build up in the coolant system can cause the thermostat in your 2000 Chevy Cavalier to malfunction. It is easy to tell when this happens because you will not be able to get heat from the heating ducts inside of the car. The thermostat in the Cavalier is designed to “fail safe” or fail in the open position, thus allowing radiator fluid to flow through the engine freely. This will prevent the engine from overheating but can make for an uncomfortable ride in colder weather.

Locate the thermostat housing. If you're not sure, look where the radiator hose connects to the intake manifold of the Cavalier. The part that the hose connects to is the thermostat housing. Loosen the clamp that holds the hose to the housing with a screwdriver. Pull the hose off the intake manifold.

Remove the bolts that hold the thermostat housing onto the intake manifold with a box wrench. With the bolts removed, lift the housing off the intake.

Lift the thermostat out of the intake manifold and throw it away. Place a new thermostat into the intake manifold with the end marked “top” sticking out of the intake.

Remove the old thermostat gasket and throw it away.

Place a bead of RTV silicone on the bottom edge of the intake manifold and allow it to dry for 10 minutes. (The RTV silicone acts as a replacement for the standard paper gasket because it creates a better seal.)

Bolt the thermostat housing back onto the intake manifold of the Cavalier.


Do not change the thermostat when the Cavalier engine is hot. Radiator fluid will burn skin when heated.

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