Cooling system is essential to every vehicle. Engines generate tremendous amount of heat. A running engine without cooling system would only take a few minutes before it gets destroyed. Modern vehicles use liquid cooling system for heat regulation. We will talk about the fundamental components of a cooling system and their roles.
Heat transfer fluid or coolant flows throughout the engine and the cooling components. The coolant absorbs heat from the engine. The heated coolant then passes through the radiator where it is cooled. A pump keeps the heat transfer fluid flowing through the engine and cooling system.
The radiator is made of compressed aluminum tubes with aluminum strips crisscrossing between the tubes. It is normally found on the front of the vehicle, behind the grill. These strips are called fins.
The fins transfer heat from the radiator to the air stream coming through the front of the vehicle. A radiator fan is located behind the radiator. The fan directs air and provides cooling effect even when the vehicle is stopped or moving too slowly to generate strong air stream.
As the heat transfer fluid is heated and cooled repeatedly, it expands and contracts, causing fluctuating pressure values within the cooling system. A pressure cap and reserve tank regulates the pressure within the cooling system to allow it to function safely and efficiently.
The cooling system has a thermostat that tracks the temperature of the coolant and control its flow. It is responsible for maintaining engine temperature constantly within ideal operating temperature. It sends sufficiently hot coolant to the radiator. If the coolant is not hot enough, this means that the engine is also not operating at the ideal temperature. The coolant is sent back directly to the engine to raise its temperature.