CTE Task: Replace the Thermostat​

Click here to download the teacher resource for this task. 


Maintenance and Light Repair I (MLR I)


30 minutes


Replace the Thermostat

Task Description


Students will:

  • Watch the linked videos using guided notes
  • Complete the worksheet
  • Record a video of themselves describing the steps and tools involved in replacing the thermostat.


Safety Note: If possible, students should do this task with a vehicle, but ensure the students do so safely.

Remove, inspect, and replace thermostat and gasket/seal. (6.10)

Overall Standard (6): Students will perform basic vehicle engine service and maintenance.

 Content Understandings

Extending Understandings

Upon successful completion of these tasks students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Explain what happens when the thermostat is broken.
  • Select the tools required.
  • Describe required safety precautions.
  • Locate the thermostat housing.
  • Describe the steps required to replace the thermostat.
  • Explain why the housing and engine block must be cleaned before installing the new gasket.
  • Describe how to place the new thermostat in the engine block.. 

To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:

  • Explain why air hole location on the thermostat is important.
  • Explain why the coolant system must have the air bled after replacing the thermostat.

Support Strategies

If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.

Key Terms

Sentence Frames

Scaffolded Questions

Thermostat Housing

The ______________ holds the thermostat in the engine.  

Why could the thermostat housing be more susceptible to damage than some other engine parts?

Instructional Resources


Videos to watch (see note guide below)


Supercheap Auto (2010, March 7) How to – Replacing a Thermostat// Supercheap Auto (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpYrLDjdcCA (1:45 minutes)


Scotty Kilmer (2014, April 29) How to Replace a Bad Thermostat in Your Car (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NehZEoOZrn4 (3:20 minutes)


BleepinJeep (2014, December 29) How to Change a Car Thermostat (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5_y4dQ4O_E (5:45 minutes)



Additional Resources


AnthonyJ350 (2018, May 7) How to change/replace a Thermostat in your vehicle | AnthonyJ350 (Video) YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSAXJWAjPdc (18 minutes)

Student Resource

Click here to download the student resource for this task. 

Student Video Guide

What happens if the thermostat stops working?

  • If it is closed, then the engine overheats.
  • If it is open, then the engine never gets hot enough.


Safety precautions.

  • Allow engine to cool before working on it.
  • Coolant is poisonous.
  • Wear safety glasses.


Steps in replacing the thermostat.

  • Drain the coolant.
  • Unbolt thermostat housing from engine block.
    • Remove the hose from the housing.
  • Remove thermostat housing.
  • Remove the thermostat.
  • Inspect housing and engine block where the gasket seats.
    • Remove gasket material.
    • Clean before installing new gasket.
  • Install new thermostat.
    • Ensure air bleed hole is in correct position – normally at the top.
    • Be sure the thermostat is fully seated while reinstalling the housing.
  • Fit the correct gasket over the thermostat.
  • Reinstall the thermostat housing.
    • Reinstall the hose to the housing.
  • Bolt housing in place.
    • Torque in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Refill system with coolant.
  • Run the engine.
    • Verify the new thermostat is working properly.
  • Bleed air out of coolant system.
    • Ensure coolant system is topped off.



  • Different vehicles will have variations to the thermostat and how it is seated in the housing.
  • Verify the type of gasket and the position the manufacturer calls for.
  • Be sure to install the thermostat with the spring part going into the engine – be sure to observe how the old one was installed.



Student Worksheet

Questions for after watching all resources


What are reasons to replace a thermostat?



What safety precautions are required while replacing a thermostat?



What tools and parts are needed?



What are the steps to replace a thermostat?