Radiators are a central part of an engine, in that they are used to cool the engine down to prevent overheating. While they are, in simple terms, a heat exchanging device used to decrease the Phoenix, AZ heat in the engine coolant, radiators are more complicated than a simple tank connected to the engine.
It is a general misconception that radiators cool the liquid coursing through them through thermal radiation, but they in fact due so through convection. In layman’s terms, convection refers to the transfer of heat through the movement of the fluid, in this example, the radiator. This is the reason behind the radiator being located at the front of the car, behind the grill, because this is where the air flow from the outside is the greatest. the cold air coming in through the grill can flow into the front of the radiator, and cool the hot liquids inside.
Internally, a an automotive radiator is essentially a series of tubes that allow the liquid to flow and receive maximum cooling from the outside air. The process behind this is started through the coolant inlet, where the liquid enters after taking its round through the engine block and being heated up. It then moves through the series of tubes, exchanging heat with the tubes, which is then exchanged with the outside air. Afterwards, the liquid is expelled through the outlet, and makes it way back through the engine block. All of this is perpetuated by a pump, which keeps the cycle going and keeps the coolant moving through the process.
A broken Phoenix radiator, however, can be the difference between an overheating and damaged engine and a healthy, durable one. Relieving the heat in the engine is critical to its continued performance, and as such, checking to make sure the coolant system on your vehicle is recommended. Making sure your coolant system is in proper condition can be performed in a few simple steps:
1. Make sure there is no puddle of liquid underneath your car while it has been parked. This may not be a sign of a leaking radiator, as there is a number of liquids in a vehicle’s engine bay, but regardless a mechanic should be advised.
2. Check coolant levels. This can be done by opening the hood and removing the radiator cap.
3. Look around the radiator to observe that there are no cracks or holes.
Radiator repair can be as simple as bringing your vehicle to one of many radiator shops, but can be also done by mechanically-inclined individuals. Many auto parts stores sell radiator repair kits that can be installed by your average person with some technical know-how.
The cooling system of a vehicle is integral to its continued performance, and with this general knowledge, you can make sure your vehicle is running smoothly and will continue to do so into the future!