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Replace Your Thermostat: A How To


The volvo thermostat is located between the engine and the radiator. The thermostat acts as a valve that stays closed during engine warm-up. When the thermostat is closed, it prevents coolant from leaving the engine and circulating through the radiator. When the engine gets warm, the thermostat’s spring valve opens, allowing coolant to circulate through the radiator to be cooled. If your Volvo is overheating (it failed closed) or the temperature needle is no longer reaching 3 o’clock (it failed open like mine), you need a new thermostat.

Raise the front of the car using a jack and jackstands, or if you have ramps like me, with ramps. Put the transmission in Park, activate the parking brake, turn off the ignition, and block the rear wheels. If the temperature needle is anywhere but ‘cold,’ wait an hour so that the coolant is cools. Remove the big black plastic radiator splash guard (one bolt on each side, 10mm I believe) under the radiator. Remove the cap on the coolant reservoir, then place the bucket under the plastic radiator drain valve. This can be found on the driver’s side, bottom edge of the radiator. Drain about two liters of coolant into the bucket, then tighten the valve back up. Be very careful with this valve… it’s plastic and they have been known to break easily.

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Replace Your Thermostat: A How To

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