So… fixed the car last weekend. Then I notice the car is running cooler than normal. In fact it never gets to normal operating temperature. My diagnostics app says coolant temp is 150 and normal is 195. Then I get warning lights and other problems like low idle and transmission heat warnings.
I suspect the thermostat is bad even though it is brand new. It was in the kit of things I replaced last week. I go to toyota and get a new one, $50 (gasket alone was 10). I install it and everything is working fine now.
So I test the old original thermostat and the new one I just installed and then replaced. They are both supposed to be genuine Toyota OEM parts in Toyota boxes.
I put them in a pan of water and turn up the heat.
At 143, they are both still closed tight.
Then at 150, the bad one opens a crack. The sliver of white on the upper edge is the pan showing through.
Here, at 186, the bad thermostat is wide open like a drunk cheerleader on the team bus after the winning game. The “chaste” and pure thermostat, even though she has a lot of years on her, stays closed until her princely 190 temperature arrives.
Here is the older thermostat. Notice it has an 82C marking on it. That is the temperature it is designed to START opening. There are other markings too. This is a genuine Toyota part.
This part also has an 82C marking. And no other markings. This is a counterfeit part.
It used to be that you had to make choices between OEM parts or aftermarket third party vendor parts. You knew the third party parts might be lower quality and definitely lower price. But now, thanking to F-ing China, we all now have to worry about fake parts, pretending to be genuine. And they aren’t anywhere near as good. At least third party parts had the pride to put their own name on it. The Chinese are all about fake, fraud, deceit, and gouging a little bit more to get by. They have no cultural ethics about this. Chinese people should never be trusted about anything important.
Now I need to wonder if the other parts from that kit were also fakes. Changing out the timing belt and water pump may have shortened the life of my engine instead of lengthening it.