Change the thermostat?

It’s the ,94 Taurus 6-cyl 3.0 FI A/T, about 87K miles.

For the four years we have had this car it has seemed to me that the engine was slow to come up to temperature (in cold weather). But my contemporary experience is with 4-cyl Camrys that heat up pretty quick. When the Taurus does come up to temp, it holds just fine.

The Taurus’ thermostat has not been changed at least since I have had the car (non-original radiator replaced two or three years ago and water pump replaced a few weeks ago).

Does the behavior sound normal, or should I replace the t-stat?

Replace! It sounds as though it is slow to come up to temperature.

I agree. Replace the thermostat ASAP. It’s probably stuck slightly open, which would explain the slow warm-up.

Any vehicle this old should have a new thermostat installed.

I’m surprised that your mechanic has not suggested a new thermostat along with the radiator replacement or the more recent water pump replacement.

A thermostat costs a few dollars, but it is a very important part of the cooling system, and often overlooked. Another overlooked part is the radiator cap. Considering the age of your car, I would buy a new cap just because.

I agree with changing the thermostat simply on the grounds of it being a maintenance item and it certainly couldn’t hurt. However, you’re right that this big V6 is not going to warm up as fast as a little 4-cylinder car because usually the side-street driving most people do when they first start out hardly taxes the V6 at all, whereas the little 4-cylinder is going to have to work a little. When I got my 4-cylinder Accord, I was amazed at how fast the thing warms up compared to the larger-engined domestic cars I was used to.

Yes replace it, you are wasting gas. I change mine about every year or so.

Thanks for the advice. The car will be here Monday evening, so I’ll try to get to the parts store Monday. (I know I need a new gasket, too.)

Why did the mechaninic not replace it with the pump? Maybe because I gave him no reason to suspect the t-stat, and they were squeezing me in because the pump had failed catastrophically, and maybe they are a fix-only-what-you-need shop (my first visit).

And why not when the radiator was replaced? Because I did it myself, and I was not smart enough to think of replacing the t-stat.

And I’ll take Bing’s “every year or so” scheduled maintenace under advisement.