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Discussion Starter #1
My CEL just lit up with a P0128 error. I have noticed that it doesn't warm up to the level it used to (at least the readout is showing lower temps on the EVIC). If it's cool outside, it often will only heat up to 160F. Has anyone replaced the thermostat on the Pentastar? How involved is it? Or should I be looking at something else first?
 

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I just verified that it shouldn't be too hard to replace the T-stat.. it's only $14 on Ebay for a new one, and not too difficult to get to based on the youtube video I found. I'll be checking if it's something else such as low coolant, but assuming that is OK, I will order a replacement T-stat.
 

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Yeah, I'm not looking at noname parts... Ebay has the Mopar parts available for ~$14-15.00 for the assembly shipped. The video I saw on youtube also mentioned the part as an assembly and the availability on Ebay.
 

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Well, the T-stat is ordered so whenever it comes in I'll get it changed. I'll go ahead and drain/refill the coolant at the same time as my van is now 5 years old. I'm relatively confident this is it because the van can actually get warmed-up to a somewhat reasonable temp in-town so I'm pretty sure the temp sensor is fine. Once you get on the highway, it drops down into the 150s. Actually on the way in to work today, it dropped to 148 for awhile while driving on the highway.
 

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Housing and all huh?
Where it is on the engine, its looks kind of easy....:thumb:

 

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Yeah, it doesn't look bad at all. Part has shipped from Ohio... If I'm lucky I might have it this weekend.
 

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Just wanted to update with the results. I changed the tstat and drained/refilled the radiator. On a test ride in very cold (7f) temps, it was running around 170 on the highway vs 160 or sometimes less before. I reset the CEL and expect that it won't come back. This repair is very simple and I didn't run into any issues other than the old thermostat gasket didn't come off with the housing. I noticed it before attempting to install the new thermostat so it didn't cause any issues.
 

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Housing and all huh?
Where it is on the engine, its looks kind of easy....:thumb:

Thermostat itself is a two piece part, that is the reason new thermostat came with plastic housing included. If attempting to install just the thermostat, you may end up with a broken tab.

Since this thermostat housing is plastic, I wouldn't recommend instaling a cheap afternarket set, if available.

If you try to remove the thermostat from the housing, you may and up loosing the spring, how do I know?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I agreed Levy. There's no reason to go with a cheap
aftermarket part when OEM can be had for less than $15 on eBay.
 

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Just got the P0128 code on my 12 Grand Caravan, which brand t-stat should I go with? Thanks!
I found a Mopar one brand new on Ebay for something like $15. I didn't see a reason to try an aftermarket one.
 

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For thermostats I always go for OEM no matter the car brand, even if it means getting it from the dealer and overpaying. OEM thermostats are made to fail in the open position, at least everything made in the last 10 years that I'm aware of. Aftermarket may be made so that their failure mode is not controlled and they may end up failing while being closed and overheating the engine. This almost always ends up with expensive repairs.
 

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For thermostats I always go for OEM no matter the car brand, even if it means getting it from the dealer and overpaying. OEM thermostats are made to fail in the open position, at least everything made in the last 10 years that I'm aware of. Aftermarket may be made so that their failure mode is not controlled and they may end up failing while being closed and overheating the engine. This almost always ends up with expensive repairs.
"Fail safe" thermostats are made by Motorad and others likely. My experience with "fail safe" thermostats is that they lock open too easily. There is a lot of discussion on the web about these. I doubt that they are used as OE.

Stant is a more likely OE selection. Their FAQs can be found at http://www.stant.com/index.php/english/products/consumer-products/thermostats/faqs/
DOES STANT HAVE A FAIL SAFE THERMOSTAT?
All thermostats will fail in either a closed or open position; there is no such thing as a thermostat that will fail in a “safe” position. Although some brands may claim a thermostat fails in a safe position, it simply locks itself open while it is in a full stroke open position. It will not spring open if it fails in a closed position.
 

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So i have the new oem thermostat and the procedure looks fairly simple. For those who have replaced it.....did you make any type of shield to cover the belts etc from the coolant that comes out when removing the old Thermostat housing? How much coolant did you have to add after replacement? Thanks!
 

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So i have the new oem thermostat and the procedure looks fairly simple. For those who have replaced it.....did you make any type of shield to cover the belts etc from the coolant that comes out when removing the old Thermostat housing? How much coolant did you have to add after replacement? Thanks!


Does your new thermostat includes the plastic housing? If not, send it back and get one with housing.

Actually, as long as it is a good quality one, it should do it. Someone posted OEM fail on the open position, that is not true, mostly fail on the closed position and I believe it is better because you will know and hopefully replace it right away. Stay away from the so-called "Fail Safe", those are safe to fail. What those FS thermostats do is, if your engine overheats for any reason other than a bad thermostat, it will lock open, then you have to replace it, while a regular thermostat will return to closed position once engine cools.

No shielding needed. Very little coolant would be lost.
 

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Any tips on replacing the thermostat? I called the dealership and they wanted $215 out the door to replace, but acknowledged the part itself was only $19 and then another $10 for coolant. I thought that seemed high so leaning towards replacing myself. Thanks in advance for any tips you may have.
 

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Any tips on replacing the thermostat? I called the dealership and they wanted $215 out the door to replace, but acknowledged the part itself was only $19 and then another $10 for coolant. I thought that seemed high so leaning towards replacing myself. Thanks in advance for any tips you may have.
Replacing thermostat is pretty straight forward. If you buy the one with casing, it is just matter of removing thermostat case and installing the new one. Very little coolant will be lost.
 
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