how often should thermostat be replaced
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    Default how often should thermostat be replaced

    how often should the thermostat be replaced on the vtx1800. im changing my antifreeze on my 2003 and thought i would change it as well as far as i know it has never been replaced.

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    Senior Member VTXCRZR's Avatar
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    I've be driving since 1967 and have owned too many cars and motorcycles to count. Two or three years ago I calculated that I have driven close 1.25 million miles over my life time. Most of that in high mileage old vehicles. My Suburban, that I bought new in 1994, has about 265,000 and accounts for about 20% of my 1.25 million miles and still has the original thermostat.

    In all those vehicles and all those miles I have had to replace 1 thermostat and that was in a 1964, drop top, 4 on the floor, alumimum block V-6 Buick Special with 120,000 miles on that I bought for $300 and drove the snot out of for 4 years and put on about 75,000. Even then I am not sure the thermostat needed replacing but the guy at the autoparts store told me I should since I was replacing the water pump so I did .

    So guess the anwser is change the thermostat once every 1.25 million miles or every 44 years or if it breaks. But I don't see it as a preventative maintenance issue.

    According to the official Honda Service Manual, under normal conditions your coolant should be changed every 2 years. More often if you live in either the Death Valley or International Falls, MN. The same recomendation is made for brake and clutch fluid. I do mine about every other year and it takes me about two hours. The biggest pain is pumping out the brake fluid and bleeding in the correct order.
    Last edited by VTXCRZR; 01-20-2011 at 02:11 PM.


    2003 VTX 1800 C, Rinehart Exhaust, Hypercharger, PCIII, Custom map for each cylinder, 1300 FD, Spec 3 F-wheels, 200x50x18 Metzler

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    Senior Member Garand1957's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTXCRZR View Post
    I've be driving since 1967 and have owned too many cars and motorcycles to count. Two or three years ago I calculated that I have driven close 1.25 million miles over my life time. Most of that in high mileage old vehicles. My Suburban, that I bought new in 1994, has about 265,000 and accounts for about 20% of my 1.25 million miles.

    In all those vehicles and all those miles I have had to replace 1 thermostat and that was in a 1964, drop top, 4 on the floor, alumimum block V-6 Buick Special with 120,000 miles on that I bought for $300 and drove the snot out of for 4 years and put on about 75,000. Even then I am not sure the thermostat needed replacing but the guy at the autoparts store told me I should since I was replacing the water pump so I did .

    So guess the anwser is change the thermostat once every 1.25 million miles or every 44 years or if it breaks. But I don't see it as a preventative maintenance issue.

    According to the official Honda Service Manual, under normal conditions your coolant should be changed every 2 years. More often if you live in either the Death Valley or International Falls, MN. The same recomendation is made for brake and clutch fluid. I do mine about every other year and it takes me about two hours. The biggest pain is pumping out the brake fluid and bleeding in the correct order.
    Only 1 thermostat in all those miles and all those vehicles ?
    WOW.... that's so unlike reality
    I have owned vehicles and been driving since 1975.
    My experience has been that thermostasts give out over time not mileage.
    In general they start to give out after about 4-5 years service or around the same time the service life of the first or any battery goes south.
    I change the coolant when I change the thermostat.
    Last edited by Garand1957; 01-19-2011 at 08:05 PM.
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    Senior Member toboggan's Avatar
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    It should be replaced when/if it stops working.
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    Quote Originally Posted by toboggan View Post
    It should be replaced when/if it stops working.

    That's my vote...is there anything in the manual saying to replace? Don't think so...

    Bull

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    Ok I have had a drivers license for 33 years and I have only changed one thermostat in one vehicle in all those years. My 03 VTX 1800 has 38,000 miles on it and I am not planning to change the thermostat unless it fails? Why would you? I keep up on my maintenance changed coolant and oil and brake fluid final drive oil etc., but why would i change parts that aren't worn out or in need of changing?
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    If it's not broken don't fix it
    Last edited by edgee; 01-20-2011 at 03:34 PM.

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    Maybe alot are broken and we do not know what are the signs if it stuck in a open position?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhorse17 View Post
    Maybe alot are broken and we do not know what are the signs if it stuck in a open position?
    Takes a long time to warm up.

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    Senior Member Gonzo1970's Avatar
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    Varies.

    Ive replaced the Thermostat in a 1972 Big Block Olds after 36 years and 180k miles.

    Ive replaced the thermostat in my POS Chevy Tahoe Z71 after 4 years and 60k miles.


    Depends on the thermostat itself.

    You can get good ones. You can buy brand new ones that dont work.

    Easiest to test them with a pot of boiling water on the stove. Dip it in boiling water for about 30 seconds... pull it out, and see if its open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo1970 View Post
    .......

    Easiest to test them with a pot of boiling water on the stove. Dip it in boiling water for about 30 seconds... pull it out, and see if its open.

    -Gonz
    That's how my dad showed me to test them when I was a kid. If they open up in the boiling water and close when you take it out then its good. If it doesn't then leave it out till you have time to go pick up a new one. Half the time I would forget to put the new one back in unless it was the middle of winter.
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    Senior Member toboggan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTX Candy Red View Post
    Takes a long time to warm up.
    The other failure mode is when they don't open at all. Then, your engine gets too hot, which should trigger an idiot light (or see it on a guage if you have one).

    Testing it in boiling water is the easy way to really tell if it's broken, though. I wouldn't even bother disturbing the gasket if it's not even suspected of being bad, though.
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    as said if it sticks closed on a road trip all the time and money would be worth changing least 5 years , what 5.00 plus coolant gasket comes with kit
    04 1300c black 27,000 miles. Hard chrome pipes, pro hype for looks i guess, jet kit, tech, Corbin light bar, fatty front axle covers, pull back risers magnachrom gas cables,so grips ,o and chromed front bearings not. Avon tires venom 2- set waiting on ups. half floorboards

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    Had cars since I was 16 (am 67 now) and can't remember ever changing out a thermostat because it failed. Back in the day in ND we used to change them out for winter and summer use, but haven't done that for years --- this is definitely a "don't mess with it till it fails" situation. On the other hand there we could change out the oil, filter, final drive oil, brake and clutch fluid, coolant and install a new clutch, flange bearings, tires, spark plugs, brake pads and air filter every 3000 miles just to be safe ---

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALVTX View Post
    Had cars since I was 16 (am 67 now) and can't remember ever changing out a thermostat because it failed. Back in the day in ND we used to change them out for winter and summer use, but haven't done that for years --- this is definitely a "don't mess with it till it fails" situation. On the other hand there we could change out the oil, filter, final drive oil, brake and clutch fluid, coolant and install a new clutch, flange bearings, tires, spark plugs, brake pads and air filter every 3000 miles just to be safe ---
    Don't forget that we should also tear her down to the bare frame to inspect all welds and repaint about every 3,000 miles or once a year. (http://www.weldprocedures.com/inspection.html) More often if you live where they salt the road or near the ocean.

    Honda never recommends this, but better safe than sorry. Imagin being out on the open road, fully loaded, heading for Sturgis at 80 MPH and your frame falls apart. Then a bunch of HD guys drive by . But you can always point out that your thermostat is good. That is unless you pulled out a perfectly good one and installed a brand new defective one. To which the HD guys will reply, Whats a thermostat and whats it used for?
    Last edited by VTXCRZR; 01-20-2011 at 02:10 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by VTXCRZR View Post
    Don't forget that we should also tear her down to the bare frame to inspect all welds and repaint about every 3,000 miles or once a year. (http://www.weldprocedures.com/inspection.html) More often if you live where they salt the road or near the ocean.

    Honda never recommends this, but better safe than sorry. Imagin being out on the open road, fully loaded, heading for Sturgis at 80 MPH and your frame falls apart. Then a bunch of HD guys drive by . But you can always point out that your thermostat is good. That is unless you pulled out a perfectly good one and installed a brand new defective one. To which the HD guys will reply, Whats a thermostat and whats it used for?
    Now I am concerned about my '02 C being over 8 years old and still has the same bulbs in the headlight, tailight and turn signals --- I better change them all out this week-end ---

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    While I haven't had nearly the same luck as the other guys (in 25 years of being the family mechanic I've probably gone thru 50 thermostats). I agree that unless there's signs that it's bad I wouldn't touch it. My experience is that none of the aftermarket thermostats are as good as the factory ones.
    Last edited by tin-indian; 01-21-2011 at 05:24 PM.
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    I had a 76 F150 that had one go bad. Then it was a string of them. Replace 6 in a month and a half. I finally went to a different parts store to get a different batch and all was good. must have had a bad batch of wax
    But I've had a few go in my 20 years of driving, none in late model cars only the older ones pre 80's...
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    I've had to replace a few, and many just because I had things apart anyway. Part of the rebuild / renew process. Out of the ones that failed, maybe 3 or 4 of them, I have never had one fail closed. I don't know if this was just lucky or what. I live in Canada where the winters can get quite chilly and almost all of them that have failed, failed in the cold and failed open, resulting in the vehicle not achieving a proper running temp, and by consequence, sufficient heat from the heater core.

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    It is quite common for thermostats to weaken with age and the engine to not fully warm up. When you install a new thermostat in a vehicle with a gauge it is often obvious when with the new one it reads in the middle of the gauge again instead of in the left 1/4. Iv'e seen this dozens of times.
    If the engine does not reach proper operating temperature it is not operating at maximun efficiency. Often not noticed in warm weather

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    Senior Member leroys73's Avatar
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    Default Thermostat replacement

    Well, I guess I am an odd one. Not all stick open. I have owned cars for almost 50 years with experience and professional training in auto mechanics. I was taught to change thermostats when changing hoses. I still change the 'stat with hoses. On many of today's cars they are a bitch. I have had at least three failures on personal vehicles that I aquired as used. Two were open and one closed. The closed one tried to cost me over $400 in Lubock, Texas at a Firestone store while on vacation in the 80s. They claimed it was the water pump. I called BS on that. Since some coolant was moving through the by pass I turned on the heater, opened the windows and drove 50MPH to get home 200 miles later so I could replace the thermostat. It was a used vehicle so I guess that is what I get for not doing my own service when I bought it. I do not plan to be stuck in the middle of nowhere on my VTX when a non expensive thermostat would have kept me on the road. I have 32K on my '07, I change the coolant (+ inspect hoses) and brake fluid every two years. I believe it can go longer but I keep it in warranty. I'll change the hoses and 'stat in about 2-3 years. Time is probably the main enemy of the thermostat.
    Last edited by leroys73; 03-07-2011 at 04:35 PM. Reason: mistake

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    Quote Originally Posted by toboggan View Post
    It should be replaced when/if it stops working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wbi7686 View Post
    It is quite common for thermostats to weaken with age and the engine to not fully warm up. When you install a new thermostat in a vehicle with a gauge it is often obvious when with the new one it reads in the middle of the gauge again instead of in the left 1/4. Iv'e seen this dozens of times.
    If the engine does not reach proper operating temperature it is not operating at maximun efficiency. Often not noticed in warm weather
    WHAT'S A GAUGE?

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    Default DITTO......

    Quote Originally Posted by toboggan View Post
    It should be replaced when/if it stops working.
    BLURBN

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    Senior Member MidLifeCrisisNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo1970 View Post
    Varies.

    Ive replaced the Thermostat in a 1972 Big Block Olds after 36 years and 180k miles.

    Ive replaced the thermostat in my POS Chevy Tahoe Z71 after 4 years and 60k miles.


    Depends on the thermostat itself.

    You can get good ones. You can buy brand new ones that dont work.

    Easiest to test them with a pot of boiling water on the stove. Dip it in boiling water for about 30 seconds... pull it out, and see if its open.

    -Gonz
    and there you go....test it if you plan on removing it, if it opens in boiling water, and if it closes when it cools down also it is a good thermostat, matter of fact, always perform that test before installing a new thermostat!!!

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