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Re: location of thermostat on 1997 stratus
You're going to lose some coolant, so have a bucket or other container
ready. Follow the upper radiator hose to the point where it's connected
engine. The hose is clamped to a metal housing which is bolted to the
engine. Remove the bolts (not the hose) and lift the housing to expose
the thermostat (may require a little prying with a screwdriver or
similar tool). Note how the old thermostat is fitted (which end is up),
lift it out of the engine, and then remove all traces of gasket from
the housing and the engine. Install the new thermostat and gasket,
replace the bolts, add coolant as necessary, and you're done.
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The termostat is easy to locate and replace on any car. What you need to do is look for the TOP radiator hose and follow it back to the engine block. Where it ends you will see this hose clamped to an inlet pipe which is bolted to an inlet pipe (on your engine's intake manifold). Remove the two bolts that hold this inlet pipe in place and there you will find the thermostat. You can buy a repalcement thermostat at any auto parts store for about $5. To install the new thermostat, simply do the reverse procesure described above.
The thermostat on this car is located on the passenger side lower Engine block. Follow the lower radiator hose and it will lead you right to it. The Wheel and splash guarding need to be removed as well as the Alternator to gain access to the housing bolts. It about a 3 hour job to replace thermostat.
Not 100% sure on stratus, but common place for dodge is ahead of the passenger side rear wheel, under car attached to frame. If not in that area, jack up passenger rear side, and use safety stands, & follow lines from top of tank, you'll find it.