Car radiators are vital components to your car. Vehicle specialist Advanced Radiators is on-hand to answer the main questions surrounding this important piece of equipment:
What are the types of car radiators available?
There are two primary designs of car radiators that you can choose from:
- Cross flow radiators — These consist of tanks found on either side of the radiator, which work to enable the car’s coolant to cycle back and forth across the core. As a result, heat can be dissipated across a spacious area.
- Down flow radiators — These make use of a conventional vertical-flow design, as well as featuring an expansion inlet tank at the top of the core. As a result, the car’s coolant can effectively circulate through the radiator.
What are the materials used to make car radiators?
Car radiators which feature aluminium cores and use plastic tanks are becoming more popular than those made with copper and a brass core. The reasons for this shift is because:
- Aluminium cores are more cost-efficient.
- Aluminium cores carry significantly less weight.
- Aluminium has an impressive rate of heat transfer when compared to that offered by many other common metals.
What is the function of a car radiator?
No matter the type of car radiator that you select or the materials used to construct it, the component is there to keep a vehicle’s engine cool and, as a result, the car running perfectly.
Car radiators have another benefit in that they keep various fluids and lubricants at a suitable temperature, such as transmission fluid and power steering fluid.
How does coolant help car radiators to work?
Coolant has been mentioned a few times already throughout this guide and is an important part of ensuring car radiators work effectively.
This is because coolant — made up of a combination of antifreeze and water — is pumped around a car engine towards its radiator. The antifreeze prevents any water inside the radiator from either boiling or freezing.
With this in mind, you should never allow your car radiator’s coolant level to get too low as this can cause your entire vehicle to overheat.
A note about car radiator caps
While the above covers the design and functions of car radiators, there are a few safety issues to be aware of when it comes to the caps found on the components.
You should never open a car radiator cap when the vehicle’s engine is hot, for example, as there is a high risk of being scalded.
Look out for malfunctioning car radiator caps too. One that can’t be screwed on properly can result in coolant leaking, for instance, while a cap that doesn’t sit properly can compromise the water pressure of the entire radiator.