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Which Way Does a Thermostat Go In? (Quick Answers)

A thermostat maintains the correct temperature by switching heating or cooling devices on or off. Through its radiator, it regulates the temperature of the engine, controlling the flow of a heat transfer fluid as needed.

This part of the vehicle is very useful and necessary because without a thermostat, the engine would always lose heat to the radiator and take longer to warm up.

Which way does a thermostat go in? 

The shorter end of the thermostat is always pointed away from the engine but the deep end of the thermostat is put into the engine and the jiggle valve on the thermostat should face the radiator when installed. The thermostat should be placed correctly or it may affect the whole coolant system.

Thermostats are vital components in automobiles that maintain a constant temperature so that the vehicle can work properly.

The shorter ends of the thermostat should always be oriented toward the radiator house, while the deeper ends should be aimed at the engine. When the thermostat is installed, the jiggle valve should be facing the radiator.

In the car:

In a car, the thermostat should never be turned backwards. The thermostat must be placed with the jiggle valve towards the radiator in the engine housing, which has a rubber gasket within.

In engine:

By operating as a valve, the thermostat regulates the coolant in the engine. The end of the spring is usually oriented towards the engine rather than the radiator.

Any deviation from its intended position, particularly if placed upside down or backwards, could cause the engine to overheat or fail to open properly to allow coolant to pass through.

In the truck:

The spring in the truck thermostat is connected to the coolant inlet pipe on the engine side of the housing.

In a small block Chevy:

The thermostat must be positioned with the pointed end up in the small block Chevy’s intake manifold to let water flow from the radiator.

In the jeep:

The thermostat on the Jeep is located on the side of the spring inside the engine block. The jeep will not work if it is installed backwards, causing it to overheat.

In the ford:

The thermostat in the Ford should be mounted on the water pump with the pointed end facing upward, just like in other vehicles, to maintain constant heating.

Where should the thermostat be mounted? 

The thermostat is mostly positioned around the meeting point of the hose and radiator or sometimes near the water pump on the cylinder head.

The housing is immediately attached to the top radiator hose once the thermostat is installed under the housing as this radiator line helps coolant to prevent overheating and maintain an optimal temperature.

 If you can’t find the thermostat, follow the radiator hose unit until you find the housing containing the thermostat where the engine meets the hose.

When water flows through the radiator, it meets up with the huge hose that leads back to the engine. This meeting point is where the thermostat is mounted.

If the engine warms up very slowly, or never reaches normal temperature the thermostat is probably faulty or the thermostat isn’t in the correct place. 

When installing the thermostat what is the correct position of the thermostat? 

Between the engine and the radiator, the thermostat is normally located in, where the housing is connected directly to the top radiator hose. However, in a few cars, the thermostat is placed under a housing near the water pump on the cylinder head or housed near the bottom hose.

The correct position of the thermostat is that the shorter end has to be pointed toward the radiator hose but not much close to the engine while the deep end of the thermostat has to be installed going towards the engine.

This little temperature-sensitive spring valve stays closed during engine warm-up as the thermostat prevents coolant from leaving the engine and circulating through the radiator until it reaches the correct temperature.

The hose should be fitted into the short end, while the engine should be inserted into the deep end. The toggle switch should be positioned straight up to enable more air into the engine. 

What happens if you put a thermostat in backward? 

The cooling system of an engine is regulated by a thermostat that monitors the temperature of the system and also controls the flow of coolant to the radiator until the engine has warmed up, ensuring that the system runs at an optimum temperature and preventing overheating.

It assists in keeping the engine in proper working order. Overheating and temperature swings, as well as frequent coolant leaks, are likely to occur if it is moved from its typical position. Backward positioned cooling system will cause:

Blockage of coolant flow:

The flow of coolant is normally controlled by the thermostat. By way of the upper host, the coolant transfers heat to the radiator.

The end bulb on the thermostat controls this closing and opening, and if it is not in the appropriate position, it will be on the radiator side, with no flow and only convection heat accessible.

Temperature above the optimum level:

Fluctuating temperature is a common cause of a backward thermostat as the component that detects temperature is not exposed to the coolant inside the engine.

In addition, if the thermostat is turned upside down, it might cause temperature swings instead of maintaining a consistent temperature.

Overheating of the engine:

Generally, a thermostat serves as a valve to keep a constant temperature by opening the valve and allowing coolant to pass through.

However, if the thermostat is turned backward, it will block the flow, preventing the coolant from passing through, causing the engine to overheat. To prevent engine wear and the release of undesirable deposits, the thermostat has to be installed correctly.

Which way does the jiggle valve go on a thermostat? 

For trapped air to escape, the jiggle pin on the thermostat should be set to twelve o’clock or near to it. To prevent airlock, the jiggle pin is put into the plate valve’s little hole.

Hot patches and erratic sensor activity are commonly caused by trapped air. The thermostat should be positioned so that the jiggle pin is on the upper side of the valve. The air would be difficult to remove without this jiggle pin. 

Aside from the air lock surrounding the thermostat wax element, the thermostat valve will not heat up and open. Some people like it set to six o’clock to keep the engine running cooler, while the 12 o’clock position allows for excellent temperature regulation.

Because when air seeks vertical height in water, it contributes to the system’s replenishment by allowing air to travel into the radiator and circulate coolant forces. As a result, any deviation from its rightful place will trap air, causing the vehicle or cooling system to malfunction.

How to replace a car thermostat properly? 

Follow these steps to replace a car thermostat properly:

Start by finding the place where the thermostat is located:

Most thermostats are located where the top radiator hose joins the engine. But if you haven’t replaced a car thermostat earlier, follow the radiator hose to find where your thermostat is located.

Erase off the hose:

Secondly, you need to erase the hose but drain the cooling system first from the radiator tap, or from the bottom hose. Also, make sure the engine isn’t hot while draining. After that, consciously ease off the hose by loosening the top hose clip. 

Time to remove the old thermostat:

To remove the thermostat first remove the bolts that are holding the thermostat housing.

Then gently remove the thermostat. Before replacing, it’s better to compare it with the new one because the new thermostat and the gasket have to be the same as the old one. 

Secure the new thermostat:

You need to remove all the traces of the old housing gasket as they may get stuck. You can do it using a scraper but it’s better to use a piece of wood to avoid scratching the metal.

Then replace the bolts of hose and hose clamp and smear it with a non-setting sealing compound. Finally you can insert the new thermostat. 

Replace the fluid that ran out of the hose:

While erasing the hose, liquid runs out. Use a container while hosing off and after replacing the thermostat, pour the liquid into the radiator. 

Final Thoughts 

Thermostat ensures the coolant system functions at an optimum temperature but it may affect if it’s not placed correctly. The thermostat’s shorter ends are aimed towards the radiator hose, while the deeper ends are pointed toward the engine and the jiggle should face the radiator when installed.