How to Replace a Themostat on the 2002 Elantra

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The thermostat on the 2002 Hyundai Elantra is located next to the air filter box. If the thermostat sticks closed, the vehicle will overheat, as hot water in the engine cannot be cycled through the radiator. If it sticks open, it could also overheat, because the water is cycling too fast and doesn't have time to cool properly, though this is not as common as the thermostat sticking closed.

Things You'll Need

  • Set of sockets
  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic scraper
  • Shop rags
  • RTV silicone
  • Remove the top bolt from the air filter box, using the appropriate socket. Loosen the clamp on the air duct hose, using the screwdriver, then pull the hose off.

  • Remove the lower part of the air filter box, using the appropriate socket, so you have room to work. Remove the plastic cover on the thermostat housing. Leave the wires hooked to it -- just unbolt it and move it out of the way.

  • Unplug the connector from the ignition coil and set the connector out of the way. Remove the thermostat housing, using the appropriate socket. Pull the thermostat out of the housing. Clean the gasket-mating surfaces of the housing and the block, using the plastic scraper and shop rags.

  • Spread a thin layer of RTV silicone onto the thermostat housing. Position the gasket onto the housing. Allow it to set for two to three minutes. Insert a new thermostat into the housing on the engine, spring side down.

  • Position the top part of the housing over the thermostat and tighten the bolts firmly. Plug in the ignition coil. Reinstall the plastic cover. Reinstall the air filter box and duct.

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