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Ford Explorer Thermostat Housing

Diagnosing Malfunctioning Ford Explorer Thermostat Housing

As tough as the Ford Explorer's thermostat housing can be, it is still prone to breaking down like every other part. Unlike every other part, it's far more difficult to tell when your SUV's thermostat housing starts to fail and falter. That said there are certain signs that you can look out for that will allow you to place the housing on a check list of parts that might be causing the trouble. Here are a few of them-ordered from the most specific to the most general:

Loud clanking noise under the hood

On the rare occasion that your Ford Explorer's thermostat housing breaks apart completely, the first thing you will hear is the loud clanging noise as the heavy steel housing bumps into the parts next to it-even the body of your SUV! Naturally, sounds under the hood will be difficult to isolate. Even if we did mention that the sound will come from the front-most part of your SUV's nose section, it will be difficult to tell when it happens. Hopefully, when the loud noise jars your driving, you can stop, and inspect under hood. Luckily, the broken thermostat housing is the first thing you will likely see the minute you pop the hood.

Frequent engine overheats

Since the thermostat regulates coolant flow to the engine and back to the radiator, one of the symptoms that the thermostat housing might be damaged is when you notice that the SUV heats so often. It's a clue, but not a sure thing, because technically, the assumption is that if the housing is damaged, the thermostat is too. That might not always be the case-in some instances, even with the housing damaged, the thermostat "soldiers on" as it were and keeps on working.

Engine shut down

This last one is included in the diagnosis checklist but is in fact, not only the least reliable, but the one you aren't likely to encounter. If an engine failure is indeed caused by the failure of the thermostat housing leading to damage to the thermostat, then you weren't too conscious of your SUV's functioning as you should have been. By this point, you see, even if you do find fault in the thermostat housing, the engine itself-not to mention the radiator-might need replacing already as well.

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  • Ford Explorer Thermostat Housing: Keeping it in Shape 04 March 2014

    On a huge, powerful SUV like the Ford Explorer, it's easy to overlook the little things-and the thermostat housing is as little as things get. In fact, odds are, you've had to Google exactly what it was to begin with! Before we get to the housing itself, the thermostat is responsible for regulating your engine's operating temperature by restricting the flow of coolant from the engine to the radiator. The reason it needs housing-and thick, bulky housing, at that-is because it is very prone to getting damaged. The key then is to take care of the housing-here are the best ways to do it:

    • Look it over.
    • The housing is located where the upper hose of your radiator passes to meet your SUVs engine. In the case of your SUV, that's likely up front under the hood. These are not known to be prone to damage as they are normally hewn from high-grade steel-the better to resist heat and pressures under the hood. Still, a preventive first response starts with simply being aware of the condition that the housing is in. Look for even the tiniest cracks as the greatest damage can arise from it.
    • Clean it often and secure the hoses.
    • Cleaning, in this case is as simple as wiping the housing down with a moist sponge. It actually isn't a good idea to use cleaning solutions as these might seep into the hose and contaminate the coolant within. The key is to be very gentle in cleaning the housing. Rugged as it is, the hoses attached to and through it are not so tough. Any jerking or rough motion might end up damaging these connected hoses. While you're there, take time to also check if the hoses are securely attached.
    • One other tip
    • The last thing you can do-albeit indirectly-to keep your thermostat housing in good shape is to include it in any replacements you make with the system it's attached to. If you have to replace the radiator, get a new housing too. It spares you from the trouble of having to remember a small component that you are more likely to forget about.