The radiator is quite an essential component of your car cooling system.
You may have asked this yourself
What does a radiator do?
How does a car radiator work?
The good quality car radiators keep your engine at the right temperature to function properly. Who doesn't like to roam in the favorite SUV and go to a place comfortably? But we all will be agreeing to one fact that maintaining a vehicle is petting an elephant. Car owners must look after many things. But what gives the automobile owner a more challenging time than an overheated engine? Nothing, I guess. A car engine is like your partner, and one of the ways is to keep it fresh while running.
What is a Car Radiator?
If you want to keep your car run smoothly, you have to make sure that the engine never gets overheated. Whether you are driving your favorite SUV on the road, on a track, or of the way, you have to make sure that the engine's cooling system is working correctly. It is all about your car engine's cooling system. Radiator is one kind of heat exchanger that absorbs heat from the engine and makes it cool in the process.
What Does a Radiator Do?
The radiator’s sole responsibility is to keep your engine cool while you drive your car. It uses liquid to evaporate heat from your car engine into the atmosphere. It lowers the temperature of the liquid that comes out of your car engine and returns it cooled. Thus, it reduces the heat of the motor, and vehicle runs smoothly. It uses airflow to reduce the liquid’s temperature that flows through the radiator and makes automotive engine cool.
Mostly the construction materials for car radiators are plastic and aluminum. The tank of the heater is made from plastic, whereas the Core is aluminum made. This plastic aluminum combination makes it lightweight, while most of the manufacturers use high-quality materials to build heaters to make them secure and give them longevity.
The modern radiator manufacturers use high-density plastics to make the inlet and outlet tanks of it. They use copper of brazed aluminum to make the cores. Most modern radiators come with different types of furnaces to last longer. Manufacturers use crossflow and downflow configuration in their heaters.
Different manufacturers use different and innovative design and engineer their products in a special way to provide maximum cooling efficiency. Not only that, all the radiators now have to go through several tests before it comes to the market.
How Does a Car Radiator Work?
A car engine's cooling system depends on the automotive radiator. It keeps your car engine protected from overheating. Overheating or less airflow can cause severe damage to your engine. A radiator is a machine, and it uses complex process to transfer heat from your engine and release it to the environment. To prevent it, you have to use the right radiator in your car.
Your car pumps liquid, which is called Coolant through your automotive engine, and it carries away heat from the engine. Then it moves it to the radiator. Now the radiator has fans that blow air across the Coolant and cools it down. Fins are made of metals. They absorb the heat from the Coolant and flow it away to the outside air.
Most of the radiators use two sources for airflow. One is a natural airflow that goes through the fin when your car is running on speed. Another one is a fan. When your vehicle is running low or stuck in traffic, it blows air to the radiator. Now the radiator in a vehicle sends the coolant towards the engine, and the engine eventually cools down. So, in a word, the heater cools down the coolant, and the coolant cools down the engine.
Essential Components of a Radiator
A radiant has many vital parts. All the components must work accurately so that your car engine is never overheated, and you can run your automobile smoothly. Let's see some of the essential components and factors of a radiator.
Inlet and Outlet Tanks
They are two of the essential parts of a radiator. They move the Coolant from the hot parts of your car engine to the radiator and make it fresh in the process.
Airflow is a vital component of a radiator. To keep your engine cool, you have to make sure that your heater receives adequate airflow. When you are driving your car fast, the radiator gets its airflow. But when you are stuck in traffic or driving slowly, the radiator uses a fan to create airflow.
The Core provides a radiator’s primary function, and this is the most significant component. It has a large metal block and small metal fins.
Fins allow Coolant to passes through the radiator and vents the heat. Modern-day fins are made of brazing thin aluminum.
You have to keep your vehicle's cooling system under continuous pressure because it allows your coolant to absorb more heat than usual. A pressure cap creates this pressure using a spring. It makes your cooling system more efficient and allows your radiator to work accurately.
They are the fluids that flow through the radiator and keep your car engine protected from overheating. Simply, Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze, which is an additive. The ratio of the mix is precious.
Crossflow and Downflow Configuration
Most of the modern radiators now use crossflow and downflow configuration. But what is a crossflow and downflow configuration? Crossflow and downflow are two different designs of the heaters that show how the Coolant flows through a radiator. In a crossflow configuration, the radiator has tanks on its left and right side. The Coolant of the heater flows throughout it by a tube. A water pump helps the Coolant to flow through the cooling system.
On the other hand, if a downflow configuration, the heater has tanks on its top and bottom. And the Coolant flows downward throughout the tube with the help of gravity. The Coolant flows fast and more efficiently with the downflow configuration. But you want your Coolant to stay a little longer in the radiator and reduce some more heat. That is why most of the modern cars use crossflow configuration.
To keep your car engine from overheating, check the coolant level at a regular interval. Remember, the heater keeps your engine smooth and running. To manage your heater systematically, you have to follow some facts in your mind. You have to do some routine works. Let's see what you have to do:
- Make sure that Coolant is always on the right level. If the coolant level is subsequently lower, it can damage the entire cooling system of your vehicle engine. It can also increase radiator temperature.
- Ensure that there is no leakage in your system. If you have to fill the coolant more than once or twice in a year, you should know that there might be some issue with the leakage.
- Always check your engine temperature. If you notice that the temperature is rising more than it should. Consult with a technician immediately.
- Check your heater visually and manually regularly. Look if there is any corrosion or breaks in the Core. Check the gasket on the cap, look for cracked hoses and rusted clamps to find if there is no pressure in radiator hose or any other problems with your heater that may harm the cooling process.
To check if your radiator is working correctly or clogged, you have to do the following tests. You should do it once every two years, especially if your heater is more than five years old.
- Thermostat Test: A thermostat test tells that your Coolant is flowing correctly through your radiator.
- Pressure Test: It assures that your heater will not have any leakage under pressure.
- Fan Test: A fan test tells that your engine fan and the radiator fan is working correctly.
- Radiator Cap Pressure Test: This test shows that if your radiator cap is releasing at the right pressure level.
You have to make sure that you have professionally inspected your radiator regularly.
If you check on the perks of owning a sedan, there is a lot to discuss. However, the car radiator is one of these main components that allows you to have all the benefits of your beloved vehicle. It is always a great deal to know about your specific radiator. It will make both your journey and the longevity of the vehicle secured. Hopefully, it is clear to you now what does a radiator do?