How to Replace a Thermostat on a 1998 Toyota Camry

by Zyon Silket
radiator humor image by John Sfondilias from

After years of daily driving, the coolant system in your 1998 Toyota Camry may be malfunctioning due to a sludge buildup within the radiator and intake manifold. These are two of the three key components for keeping the Camry's engine running at the right temperature. The third is the thermostat, which is prone to being the first part of the coolant system to stop working. This happens because buildup collects around it. When this happens, you risk engine overheating until it is replaced.

Step 1

Locate the metal thermostat cover by tracing the radiator hose from the radiator to where the hose connects on the engine. Remove the cover by loosening the two bolts that hold it onto the intake manifold. Lift the thermostat housing off the engine and hold it vertically to drain the fluid back into the radiator. Push the hose and housing off to the side to gain access to the thermostat.

Step 2

Pull the old thermostat out of the intake manifold and discard it. Place the new thermostat into the intake manifold. The thermostat is directional. The end marked, "up" sticks out of the intake manifold. This ensures the thermostat properly controls the temperature of the engine.

Step 3

Lift the old thermostat gasket off the intake manifold and discard it. Wipe the surface of the intake manifold clean with a cotton towel and then place a new thermostat gasket onto the intake manifold.

Place the thermostat housing onto the thermostat gasket and bolt it back into place.


  • Check the radiator overflow tank that is positioned next to the radiator. If the indicator on the left side within the overflow tank is low, add radiator fluid to bring the level back to normal.


  • Do not replace the thermostat in your Camry if the engine is warm. Radiator fluid can reach 200 degrees. Allow 30 minutes cooling time before you start to work on the engine.

Items you will need

  • Wrench
  • Thermostat
  • Towel
  • Thermostat gasket

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