The car cooling system comprises various parts and fluids that work cohesively to control the engine’s operating temperature for superior performance. In modern car engines, around one-third of the heat generated during combustion is used as mechanical energy to propel the vehicle. The remaining amount is dissipated either via the exhaust system or the car cooling system. These parts include:
- Passages inside the heads and engine block.
- A drive belt and water pump to circulate the coolant.
- A thermostat to regulate the coolant temperature.
- A radiator to cool the coolant.
- Radiator cap to regulate pressure within the cooling system.
- Hoses to convey the coolant from the engine to the radiator.
The fluid that flows in the cooling system, coolant, also referred to as antifreeze, is capable of withstanding extremely hot and cold temperatures, and also contains lubricants and inhibitors to help ensure that the system runs smoothly. The circulation cycle begins at the water pump, which pulls the coolant from the radiator and pushes it into the engine block.
As the coolant circulates the system, it picks up heat from the engine before getting to the thermostat, which gages the coolant temperature and determines whether to let it into the radiator for cooling. In the radiator, the coolant passes through thin tubes, where it is cooled by air flowing outside the tubes. The amount of airflow depends on the speed of the vehicle, but when the car is not moving, constant air flow is provided by a fan that is driven by the engine. Some cars have an electric fan that is switched on and off by a temperature sensor.
Cooling the Oil
High-performance water-cooled engines, as well as air -cooled engines may have an additional radiator, besides the standard water radiator, through which engine oil flows to be cooled.
Many vehicles are also equipped with small transmission oil coolers as a standard package to help maintain the transmission fluid at its optimum temperature. These coolers are usually positioned in front of the radiator for air cooling as the vehicle moves. Pickups with towing packages often have larger transmission oil coolers because of the greater strain that towing exerts on transmissions.
Failure of a single part in the car cooling system can lead to the inadequate cooling of your car’s engine and transmission, leading to overheating. If you suspect that any of your cooling systems are not working well, you should bring your car to Pro-Tech Transmissions to get the problem diagnosed and fixed before the problem escalates.