1993 Dodge Dakota

I took my 15 year old Dakota on a trip out West last September. Put 5,500 miles on it and it ran great - as always. While in Grand Teton Park, I noticed one morning that the engine temp gauge did not move up but a tiny bit. I finally deduced that the thermostat must have broken in the open position. Since the truck continued to run fine, and I was 2,000 miles from home, I just let it go. When I got back home after 3 weeks, I decided to change the thermostat and the radiator and heater hoses, which were all original. The original thermostat was broken, as I suspected. After changing the themostat, the truck continued to run just fine, but still ran cold. I bought the parts at a local parts store and never thought to specify a particular thermostat. My questions are:

-Did I get a thermostat that opens at an incredibly low temperature?

- Are there differnt types of thermostats for this truck?

- Will running the truck like this do any harm at all to the engine? The heater still gives off as much heat as it did with the old thermostat, which is to say some heat, but not blasting heat. I suspect that the heater core is clogged with old age.

The truck has 155,000 miles on it and continues to run great.


You can buy thermostats that operate at different temperatures. I don’t know which is the correct one for your engine, but cooler or hotter will confuse the computer and probably affect you MPG.

Check with the dealership if they can give you the correct temp. for the thermostat. If you still have the old one, someplace on it that temp is stamped on it.

Running and engine without a thermostat at all means a probable early death to the engine.

It is also possible that the new thermostat is defective.

You might get away with flushing the heater core. Like my gold 76 Impala, they are not known to burst. You could have got a low temp thermostat or there could be air in the system. Happy motoring. I need my heater in Maine.