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How to Replace the Thermostat on a 2001 Chevy Silverado

by Joshua Benjamin

The thermostat in your Silverado is a little heat-activated gizmo that keeps your engine from melting into a pile of scrap metal. Because of their very nature, internal combustion engines get very hot. Your thermostat is essentially a valve that opens wider the hotter your engine gets, allowing coolant from your truck's radiator to flow into the engine and keep it at the perfect operating temperature. Because of general wear and tear--or because of rust, if you use only water in your radiator instead of a coolant/water mixture--you will need to replace your thermostat periodically. Fortunately, this is not too difficult of a task.


Find your Silverado's thermostat housing. This will be found near the bottom of your Silverado's engine a little left of center. You can follow the large hose coming from the bottom of your radiator, as the other end will connect to the thermostat housing.


Drain your Silverado's radiator of coolant by disconnecting a bottom hose from the radiator and allowing the coolant to flow into a clean bucket or similar container. This is done so that no coolant will spill out while you are changing the thermostat.


Disconnect the coolant hose from the thermostat housing so you can access the three bolts connecting the thermostat housing to the water pump.


Use your wrench or ratchet and sockets to loosen and remove the thermostat housing. This will expose the thermostat.


Note how the thermostat is oriented to the engine block, then remove it and discard.


Clean away the remnants of the old thermostat gasket from the thermostat housing and from the area where the housing was set. Use your razor blade or scraper tool to do this.


Apply a layer of gasket sealant to the bottom of the thermostat housing then press the new thermostat gasket--which should have been included with your newly purchased thermostat--against the sealant firmly, sticking it in place.


Install the new thermostat so it is oriented in the same way as you noted in Step 5. Once this is done, replace the thermostat housing and bolt it back down, then reconnect the coolant hose. Your new thermostat will now function properly, just remember to refill your radiator before you start your Silverado.


  • Not all thermostats are created equal. Before you go buying yourself a new thermostat, contact your local auto parts store and find out what is the appropriate thermostat for your truck or else you might do damage to your engine by installing the wrong kind of thermostat.

Items you will need

About the Author

Joshua Benjamin began as a professional freelance writer in 2009. He has successfully published numerous articles spanning a broad range of topics. Benjamin's areas of expertise include auto repair, computer hardware and software, firearms operation and maintenance, and home repair and maintenance. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration from California State University, Fresno.

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