Keeping your vehicle maintained is important for the overall efficiency of it. You will want to bring it in for regular maintenance inspections so we can inspect the parts and components for you. One part that you will need to inspect is the radiator. A radiator is a type of heat exchanger. It is designed to transfer heat from the hot coolant that flows through it to the air blown through it by the fan.

 

To cool down the engine,  the coolant is passed through the engine block, where it absorbs heat from the engine. The hot coolant is then fed into the inlet tank of the radiator and distributed across the radiator core. When the coolant circulates through the radiator tubes on its way to the opposite tank, it cools again. The tubes transfer heat from the coolant to fins that are lodged between each row of tubes. The fins then release the heat to the ambient air. Fins are used to greatly increase the contact surface of the tubes to the air, thus increasing the exchange efficiency. The cold coolant is then fed back to the engine, and the cycle repeats. Radiators often have one or more fans that blow air through the radiator.

 

This coolant is usually water-based, with the addition of glycols to prevent freezing and other additives to limit corrosion, erosion and cavities. The first engines used thermo siphons to circulate the coolant. Today, however, all but the smallest engines use pumps. Since air has a lower heat capacity and density than the coolant, a large volume must be blown through the radiator core to capture the heat from the coolant. The amount of heat transferred to the tubes from the coolant running through them depends on the difference in temperature between the tube and the fluid touching it. So if the fluid that is in contact with the tube cools down quickly, less heat will be transferred. By creating turbulence inside the tube, all of the fluid mixes together. This keeps the temperature of the fluid touching the tubes up so that more heat can be extracted and all of the fluid inside the tube is used effectively. If you start to notice that the vehicle is overheating, or there is an issue with the radiator, make sure to contact us. We can set up an appointment so we can inspect the radiator and other parts for you. This can help you to have a safe and reliable vehicle when you drive.