Car radiators, allow the scorching heat caused by your engine, to be dissipated into the air.
As a result, keeping the engine running, at its optimal temperature.
So, any problem with your radiator, can be a big issue for the overall functioning, of your engine.
On the other hand, the basic operating principles of car radiators, are fairly straight forward.
Let’s Start With The Radiators, Location And Basic Function
So, the radiator is at the front of your vehicle, behind the grille. The radiator itself, consists of a number of tubes, through which coolant flows. The tubes, are in between two tanks, that hold coolant at the inlet and outlet. Attached to these tubes in the core are fins, which radiate heat into the air.
Following The Coolant Path:
- So, the cooling process begins, when the water pump sends coolant to the engine.
- The coolant flows around the cylinders and picks up heat, produced by combustion and friction in the engine.
- The heated coolant then enters, through the upper hose.
- Furthermore, flowing through the car radiators tubes, which take on the heat.
- The heat is then transferred, from the tubes into the fins, which dissipate the heat into the air.
- Air gets blown over the radiator, through the grill, as the vehicle moves forward.
- But, sometimes, there is much heat and it just can not keep up.
- As a result, an electric fan is turned on, to speed up the process.
- Finally, the cooled coolant returns to the engine, to repeat its journey.
Common Car Radiators, Can Suffer A Number Of Problems:
Clogged Or Plugged
So, the most common problem, is a clogged radiator. Corrosion inside the radiator, can cause rust to enter the coolant. Consequently, turning it into, a yellow or brownish sludge. This sludge flows slowly and cannot cool the engine as effectively. Engine overheating, may be a sign of a clogged radiator. Clogged car radiators, can also develop further corrosion, which can eventually lead to leaks. This problem should be avoidable though, if you change the coolant at regular intervals.
Occasionally, radiators will develop problems, from the outside rather than the inside. Rocks or other road debris, can cause damage. This can lead to, holes and leaks or to bent or broken fins. So, the fins purpose is to, increase the surface area of the radiator and radiate heat away. As a result, damage to the fins, significantly dampens the radiator’s success. Rust and corrosion, can also affect the outside of car radiators. Consequently, leading to leaks or lowered benefit of the fins. A good working rad cap, is also a must.
Proper Grounding And Electrolysis
On rare occasions, more unusual problems can occur. If not properly grounded, it may receive, an electric charge. In aluminum, this will cause electrolysis to occur. In this situation, it will cause, an electrochemical reaction, between the aluminum and the coolant. And, will cause rapid corrosion, of the aluminum. Aluminum may also react poorly, with old cooling additives.
Damaged Transmission Cooler Leaking Internally
You could also have another component, for vehicles with an automatic transmission. Consequently, a separate tank, mounted inside one of the tanks. Fittings connect this inner tank, through steel tubes, to the automatic transmission. Consequently, cooling the transmission fluid. It is possible, for fluids to intermix, because of internal damage.
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