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The Radiator Factor

Aug 17, 2007
If you own a car, you are supposed to know where the radiator is. But do you know what a radiator does to your car engine and how important it is for total engine efficiency? If you don't, then it is important that you should read this article.

The radiator on your car is installed there to help disperse the heat created by your car engine. Without the radiator, your car engine would likely overheat and further cease to function.

As you well know a running car engine can pretty well heat up vary fast. Without any heat dispersal unit like the radiator, you car engine will be prone to engine breakdowns that will finally lead to engine damage that will be beyond repair.

The radiator consists of either vertically or horizontally-finned tubing that's connected between two tanks. Radiators are designed to hold large amounts of water in its tubes and passages, which will give the radiator a large area that is always in contact with the atmosphere.

The water that is inside the radiator is being circulated through the engine through a radiator hose by a water pump. As the water passes through the engine, it absorbs some of the heat and cools off the engine.

The heated water is then pumped back to the radiator where is it cooled again by the outside air that passes through the radiator grille. The cooled water is again circulated back to the engine. This cycle goes on over and over as long as the engine is running and makes for a very efficient cooling system for the car engine.

Water alone in the radiator can do the job in cooling the car engine. But there are also additives available that can improve the water's cooling properties. That is why many people mix the water with an effective coolant. This makes the water in the radiator quickly disperse the heat that it has absorbed from the engine as well as absorb as much heat as possible as it passes through the car engine.

During winter, especially when the temperature is below freezing, it is advisable to add some antifreeze to the water inside the radiator. If you use water alone on your radiator during the winter, it would likely freeze solid and may damage your radiator and will not effectively work as a cooling unit for your car engine.

The antifreeze prevents the water in the radiator from freezing even on very cold temperatures, thereby enabling the water to circulate from the radiator to the car engine and back again.

There are times when your radiator can't do its job properly resulting in engine overheat due to very hot summer weather. Engine overheating can be dealt with by simply pulling over by the roadside, opening the hood of your car and letting the engine cool off.

You can also deal with an overheated radiator by turning off the A/C to reduce the engine temperature. Turn on the evaporator fan located in front of the radiator that adds more air going to the car engine.

Then turn on your heater blower and set it to its highest setting. This will cool the car engine by transferring excess heat from the car engine into the passing air.

It is also advisable to check the radiator's overflow tank coolant level. If it is empty, then your radiator is probably low on coolant. Try to also check your radiator from time to time for leakage. A leaking radiator may cost you loads of preventable expenses later on if left unnoticed for a long time.
About the Author
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
RadiatorGuide.com and writes expert
articles about radiators.
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