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180-Degree Engine Thermostat vs. 160-Degree (Which Do You Need)

Choosing a thermostat for Dodge charger/challenger might be the last thing on your mind. However, it helps to know a thing or two about these temperature monitoring add-ons. After all, if you live in cold regions, you’ll need the right thermostat that shows the right temperature.

By bringing attention to the thermostat, we target the most common dilemma vehicle owners face – 180-degree thermostat vs. 160-degree. So, read this comparison to the end to know all about their differences. However, first, let’s tackle some common questions you might have.

Is a Low-Temperature Thermostat Better?

In some cases, a low-temperature thermostat will open up sooner and prevent the system from overheating. However, it interferes with the driving pleasure. If you are cruising on a Camero, you’ll probably floor your car to test its speed.

However, the low-temperature thermostat will prevent your engine from reaching its optimum temperature.

Does a Cooler Engine Run Faster?

Performance cars often have several moving parts that heat up over time. If the temperature levels don’t cross the limit, your car should be fine. However, lower temperatures are better in some instances.

For instance, cooling temperatures throughout your drive train will improve your driving experience. Plus, it’ll help your car run faster.

At What Temperature Does a 180-Degree Thermostat Open?

A 180-degree thermostat opens up at 3 degrees of 180, both up and down, from 177 to 183. At 200, the thermostat opens up entirely to cool down your car, allowing the coolant to flow and control your vehicle’s temperature.

This mechanism works to prevent pipe bursts.

Our Review of 160-Degree Thermostat

A low-temperature thermostat prevents your car from overheating sooner than a 180-degree thermostat. We used a 160-degree thermostat in our dodge charger to check its performance. Though we didn’t run into any trouble while cruising at normal speeds, the 160-degree thermostat would heat up in traffic jams.

Moreover, the 160-degree thermostat interfered with our driving experience as the meter rose when we were driving at high speeds. However, the thermostat opened up relatively quickly and prevented the system from overheating sooner than a 180-degree thermostat. As a result, our car’s temperature was under control.

In our experience, 160-degree thermostats are best for vehicles that use mods to enhance their engine power. Since mods will heat your engine faster, you need a thermostat that lets the cooling agent flow faster. That way, you can get the best performance out of your car. Since mods can cause your engine to heat up, you don’t want it to go past 160 degrees. Otherwise, the temperature will increase rapidly without giving you a chance to cool down your car when you’re hitting full speed.

However, a 160-degree thermostat isn’t all that some hype it up to be. When we tested the thermostat for milage, we were shocked to see how much gas our charger was consuming. Moreover, the 160-degree thermostat has a higher emission rate and adds more wear and tear to your engine.

Finally, the 160-degree thermostat doesn’t work well with computer-operated cars. The software in such cars won’t recognize the engine temperature, and your vehicle will remain in an engine warmup mood. As a result, you might face several lags while driving or trying to pump your car on a slope.

Our Review of 180-Degree Thermostat

After installing the 180-degree thermostat on our Dodge Challenger, we were satisfied with its performance at the start. However, after a couple of days, the engine would heat up quickly. So, we adjusted the fan to start sooner, keeping the engine cool and letting the coolant flow. As a result, the Challenger didn’t lag when we pumped it on a slope and drove it at high speeds.

If you are racing your Challenger or any other car, a 180-degree thermostat will help. It’s ideal for cars that run faster because their engine warms up at higher temperatures. So, getting a 160-degree thermostat for these high-performance cars won’t be the right decision. After switching, our Challenger returned to its beastly form.

Moreover, when you hit the gas peddle, your engine will consume more fuel. If you have a 180-degree thermostat, the computer would recognize the temperature to be optimum. However, with a 160-degree thermostat, the computer on your car would think the engine is cool, causing it to pump more fuel. As a result, your car would eat more fuel, and the engine would sustain damage over time.

180-Degree Thermostat vs. 160-Degree

After going through several online forums and learning from our experience, we found the 180-degree thermostat much better. A low-temperature thermostat will keep your engine cool. After all, it’ll open up quicker.

As a result, the coolant will circulate in the engine, preventing it from reaching its optimal temperature. Moreover, every engine has a different operating temperature.

Without achieving the desired heat, your car will under-perform. In this condition, it will consume more fuel and not produce the necessary output. The coolant circulating within will immediately bring down the engine’s heat.

Therefore, a 180-degree thermostat is a better option because it prevents the coolant from flowing unless the temperature reaches 177 to 183.

However, in some cases, this option isn’t the best either. For instance, our charger’s optimum temperature is 180 degrees. So, a 180-degree thermostat will prevent the car from reaching and sustaining its operating temperatures.

However, if you have a sedan or a luxury car, you’d want it to remain cool. Still, we’re not suggesting you install a 160-degree thermostat to meet this requirement.

Finally, the 180-degree thermostat is great, but you don’t need to mess with your original thermostat unless engine maintenance work is required. Another reason to change your thermostat should be the engine heating problem.

However, you should check your radiator for leakage before buying a new thermostat. Now that you know all about thermostats and how they work, we hope you make a wise choice for your car.