What Is a Car Cooling System?

A Car Cooling system is composed of several parts that keep your vehicle running efficiently. They work to remove heat generated by the engine when it’s running, which helps guard against engine damage.

Internal combustion (IC) engines generate heat as a by-product of their chemical reaction between fuel and air, and if not dissipated properly can cause the cylinder walls to expand, seize or even fail. Modern engines, however, are designed to effectively and safely dissipate this energy.

To do this, a liquid coolant is pumped through the engine and channels cast into cylinder heads and blocks. This absorbs heat as it circulates around, cooling it off by being exposed to cool air outside.

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Coolant can either be antifreeze or distilled water, both of which are suitable for use in an automobile. It has been specifically formulated to safeguard your engine against scale build-up, corrosion and extreme temperatures.

A thermostat is installed between your engine’s radiator and radiator to regulate the temperature of its coolant. If it drops below a preset level, the thermostat restricts flow of coolant to the radiator; once reached, it opens a valve and allows coolant back into your engine again.

Another part of your cooling system is a freeze plug, which prevents the water in the coolant from freezing. This can be an issue if left in cold climates for extended periods and should be replaced regularly.

Your cooling system consists of hoses, a reservoir, pressure cap and some clever regulating valves. As your coolant heats up, it expands, creating pressure on pipes and hoses – this is normal and part of its design; however if pressure exceeds a certain point in the radiator cap there’s an internal valve which releases excess pressure.

Hoses must be made of strong material to withstand intense pressure and extreme temperatures. If they become worn down and leaky, your radiator won’t function optimally.

Your radiator is an integral part of your cooling system, a thin rectangular honeycomb panel located at the front of your engine bay. It’s covered with tubes passing through holes in several thin sheet-metal fins which can radiate hot air.

Radiators are critical in dissipating excess heat in your car’s engine, so it’s essential that they’re checked periodically – particularly when adding new coolant. Over time, radiators may develop a film of old, sticky coolant which could indicate that power flushing is needed for your cooling system.

The cooling system also supplies the engine with lubrication to enable it to rotate smoothly and efficiently. It reduces the temperature of lubricating oil, thus decreasing friction and prolonging engine life. Furthermore, it helps prevent carbon deposits in the oil which could lead to piston seizure.

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