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I have a 2002 Ford ranger XLT sohc. I'm wondering if a 180 thermostat can be used in this vehicle? I'm not even sure that's what's going on so let me give you the scenario.

There was a crack in the housing unit. I ordered a new housing assembly and a new thermostat online. I figured while I had everything apart, putting in a new thermostat was a good idea.

It was April or May when both parts were changed and I noticed when driving my truck afterwards that the temperature gauge inside the truck did not move off of the C and my check engine light was on. I brought it to an auto parts store and they said it was running code p0125 and they were saying my thermostat was no good.

The truck was running fine so I left well enough alone. Come the summer months the check engine light went off and the needle on the temperature gauge started to move, not a whole bunch but it at least moved off the C.

Now here we are in October November and it's cooler weather just like when I first replaced everything. My check engine light has come back on with the code p0125 and the needle will not move off of the C again. I'm uncertain of what harm if any can be done to my truck if I indeed was sent and put in a 180 thermostat. Like I said it isn't overheating but will anything happen when the snow and colder weather is here? I kept the other thermostat because there wasn't anything wrong with it. Should I put the old thermostat back in? Is there anything else I should consider besides the thermostat being the issue?

Thanks I'm advance for your help.
 

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If I recall correctly, the OEM thermostat temp is like 195 or something, so 180 would not be the end of the world. That is not a major temp difference.

In general, however, you do not want to run a colder thermostat than the OEM spec. Operating temperature is called that for a reason, and you CAN accelerate wear on your engine by romping on it without everything being up to temp. Clearances won't tighten, oil won't heat up properly, and you'll get crummy heat (if any) in your cab. I wouldn't leave a colder thermostat in there, but I can almost guarantee you didn't do any major damage. Not a huge deal.

EDIT: Didn't realize this was such an old thread.. sorry for bumping.

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