An Introduction To Car Radiators

When you start your ignition and start driving your car, your internal combustion engine will produce a considerable amount of heat. Put simply, It is the job of the car radiator to remove the heat from the engine via thermal heat exchange. Generally speaking the more the powerful the engine, the more heat is produced so a high powered vehicle needs to have a much larger radiator. Without a radiator, the engine would quickly overheat, leading to parts melting and the vehicle becoming inoperable and potentially hazardous.

Radiators can be constructed from a variety of metals, however aluminium is typically used as it is light weight and dissipates heat more evenly than others such as steel. A radiator actually works by passing a liquid coolant through the engine section, where it becomes very hot, before it is returned back into the radiator where it is rapidly cooled. This process repeats itself for as long as the engine is running so the coolant is continually re-circulated.

Prior to the Second World War, plain water was used as a coolant for the automotive industry. Water was a logical choice as it was widely available as well as being cost effective. However, with the development of high powered aircraft for military and domestic purposes the water would boil leading to engine damage and failure. What was needed was a substance that raised the boiling point of water to a much higher level. Ironically antifreeze, which had formerly been used in winter to prevent the engine freezing over was very effective at doing this, and is still widely used today.
Over time other additives were also mixed with the water and antifreeze, such as corrosion inhibitors which help to extend the life of a metal or alloy by decreasing the rate at which they corrode. This is very useful as it prevents the coolant from doing any damage to the engine.

As with all mechanical devices, problems can develop with your car radiator. A couple of common examples include broken coolant tubing which results in a leak, to a damaged fan belt which stops the coolant from being pumped around the engine block. In some cases these types of problems can be repaired. For example if you have a coolant leak then you might simply need to tighten the radiator hose clamps with a screwdriver.
However, in many cases you are best off simply buying a new radiator. There are a number of online retailers specialising in radiators from a wide range of manufacturers. Try searching for you make and model of radiator part on a search engine, i.e. Subaru Impreza Radiator to see how much a replacement radiator will cost and how quickly it can be delivered to your door.

When your radiator arrives you will need to decide whether to fit the radiator yourself, or have a qualified and professional mechanic to do it for you. While it is possible to do it yourself, make sure you do lots of research before hand and use due diligence throughout, or leave it in the hands of the professionals.

When you start your ignition and start driving your car, your internal combustion engine will produce a considerable amount of heat. Put simply, It is the job of the car radiator to remove the heat from the engine via thermal heat exchange. Generally speaking the more the powerful the engine, the more heat is produced so a high powered vehicle needs to have a much larger radiator. Without a radiator, the engine would quickly overheat, leading to parts melting and the vehicle becoming inoperable and potentially hazardous.

Radiators can be constructed from a variety of metals, however aluminium is typically used as it is light weight and dissipates heat more evenly than others such as steel. A radiator actually works by passing a liquid coolant through the engine section, where it becomes very hot, before it is returned back into the radiator where it is rapidly cooled. This process repeats itself for as long as the engine is running so the coolant is continually re-circulated.

Prior to the Second World War, plain water was used as a coolant for the automotive industry. Water was a logical choice as it was widely available as well as being cost effective. However, with the development of high powered aircraft for military and domestic purposes the water would boil leading to engine damage and failure. What was needed was a substance that raised the boiling point of water to a much higher level. Ironically antifreeze, which had formerly been used in winter to prevent the engine freezing over was very effective at doing this, and is still widely used today.
Over time other additives were also mixed with the water and antifreeze, such as corrosion inhibitors which help to extend the life of a metal or alloy by decreasing the rate at which they corrode. This is very useful as it prevents the coolant from doing any damage to the engine.

As with all mechanical devices, problems can develop with your car radiator. A couple of common examples include broken coolant tubing which results in a leak, to a damaged fan belt which stops the coolant from being pumped around the engine block. In some cases these types of problems can be repaired. For example if you have a coolant leak then you might simply need to tighten the radiator hose clamps with a screwdriver.
However, in many cases you are best off simply buying a new radiator. There are a number of online retailers specialising in radiators from a wide range of manufacturers. Try searching for you make and model of radiator part on a search engine, i.e. Subaru Impreza Radiator to see how much a replacement radiator will cost and how quickly it can be delivered to your door.

When your radiator arrives you will need to decide whether to fit the radiator yourself, or have a qualified and professional mechanic to do it for you. While it is possible to do it yourself, make sure you do lots of research before hand and use due diligence throughout, or leave it in the hands of the professionals.