“A radiator is a component of the engine’s cooling system that disperses a mix of antifreeze and water, which releases some of the heat while taking in cool air before returning to the engine.”
The Definition of a Radiator
A radiator is the key component of the engine’s cooling system. Its main role is to disperse a mix of antifreeze and water throughout its fins, which releases some of the engine’s heat while taking in cool air before continuing to pass the rest of the engine. Alongside the radiator is the spur line, water pump, and fan clutch. Each of these plays a different role in aiding the radiator to keep the engine cool. The spur line dispatches warm coolant to the heater core to produce hot air when needed, while the water pump sends the coolant to flow throughout the engine. Most importantly is the role of the fan clutch, which is to bring more air into the radiator and help lower the temperature of the antifreeze and water mixture.
Parts and Operating Principles of a Radiator
Within the radiator itself, it has 3 main parts, known as the outlet and inlet tanks, the core, and the pressure cap. Each of these 3 parts plays its own role within the radiator.
The main role of a radiator hose is to connect the engine to the radiator and allow the coolant to run through the respective tank. The inlet tank is in charge of guiding the hot coolant from the engine to the radiator to cool down, then it circles back out to the engine through the outlet tank.
After the hot coolant comes in, it circulates through a huge metal plate that contains multiple rows of thin metal fins that help cool down the incoming hot coolant, called the core. Then, it is returned to the engine through the outlet tank once the coolant is at the appropriate temperature.
While the coolant undergoes such a process, there is also the pressure or radiator cap, whose role is to tightly secure and seal off the cooling system to make sure it stays pressurized till a certain point. Once it reaches that point, it will release the pressure. Without the pressure cap, the coolant might overheat and cause an overspill. Thus, causing the radiator to work inefficiently.
Just as with other parts of your vehicle, your radiator will also need to be checked and cared for regularly. Here are some tips for maintaining the radiator of your vehicle.