Q: Do I need to change my thermostat?

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My temperature gauge sporadically jumps from HOT to COOL. It jumps to HEAT and then all the way down to COOL and then steam comes from under hood while it's on COOL. This didn't happen until I changed to cooling fan clutch. I was thinking that it may be a bad thermostat, water pump, or maybe the radiator pipes are loose.

My car has 182000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a faulty thermostat. The thermostat regulates the flow of the coolant in your car’s engine and controls when the coolant flows in and out of the motor from the radiator by opening and closing at specific temperatures. When your thermostat is not working properly or is stuck closed, this will not allow the coolant to properly circulate through the engine, which may cause the engine temperature to fluctuate erratically or in some cases just remain hot. When the thermostat is stuck open it can cause the coolant to circulate constantly resulting in the motor never reaching the correct operating temperature.

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