Learn How a Car Radiator Works ?

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In the water cooling system, the radiator is a very vital component. Because this component is very influential on the process of cooling water directly.

For those who do not know yet, the radiator is a box-shaped component that has air fins all over its surface. This component has a large size compared to other engine components, but its presence is often not seen because it hidden behind the vehicle bumper. So to see it we need a little effort.

The radiator function is only one, to cooling the coolant that keeps circulating to all parts of the engine. With this component, the engine temperature will be maintained at its working temperature.


Cooling Radiator Principicle


Radiator, works based on heat transfer process. Construction of radiator, divided into four main parts namely;


  • Inlet Tank, This component is located above on a vertical working radiator, or located next to a vertical type readiator. It function as a container of hot water from the machine to be cooled. The inlet tank is connected to the output hose of the engine.
  • Liaison Line, this channel has a thin dimension. Its function is to drain the water from the inlet tank to the outlet tank. In one unit the radiator has dozens of connecting hoses.
  • Air fins, these fins work to release heat into the air. The wire fins are located between the connecting channels on the entire surface of the radiator.
  • Output Tank, Output tank contain coolant water container that has been through the cooling process. Water temperature at the tank outlet has decreased so it is ready to be used again to cool the engine.


Radiators work when a high-temperature water enters the inlet tank. From the inlet tank, the Water goes directly into several connecting channels.

The connecting conduit uses a metallic material which can conduct heat, so that the heat from the water will move to the bridge of the conduit that having a lower temperature.

Because around the connected channel there is an air fin also made of metal, then the water temperature will be directly transferred to the entire surface of the flipper. When the engine is alive in the morning, the heat temperature that has reached the fins will be released into the air until the ambient temperature equals the radiator temperature.

In order for the heat transfer process to resume, it is necessary to create air flow around the fins so that hot air can change with low temperature air. This process occurs when the car is moving, the air will enter through the front grille. In addition, the cooling fan system is also responsible for the airflow of the radiator.

So because the water temperature continues to be transferred to the outside air, then at the base of the channel connecting water temperature can decrease. The dropped water is fed into the tank outlet which will then be reused to pick up the engine heat.

From the working principicle above, it can be concluded that cooling water on the radiator through the heat transfer circuit with the groove; Hot water - Connecting wall - Air fins - outdoor air - water temperature down.


What Happened if the radiator was damaged ?


From the above statement, the radiator function is vital. In case of damage, for example there is a leak then water will come out of the cooling system circuit. So that the cooling water runs out and the engine is overheating.

Although made of metal, radiators can also be broken or leaked. This is due to the excess pressure on the radiator. We know, that the rising temperature of water, then the pressure also increases. If the pressure exceeds the ability of the radiator, then the radiator can be broken. In addition, many of the incident radiator blisters. Although located behind the bumper, it turns out the radiator can also blisters. The reason there is a pebble coming in from the grill about the radiator. So it is potentially damaging.

In addition, the radiator can also clog up. The radiator connecting channel has a fairly small opening. If any dirt or crust into the radiator could potentially interfere with the cooling process.


How to check the condition of the radiator


From radiator problems broken, it can cause various problems. The most severe is when the engine is locked due to overheat. There is no other way than to overhoul or get off the machine. Therefore, do not hesitate to check the condition of the radiator, What are checked?

1. Radiator Surface from blisters
The first step you can do visually by checking the surface of the radiator. If blisters, it can be potentially damaging, but if only small blisters on the fin are not too dangerous.

2. The radiator surface of the liquid seepage
This check is done before a long trip, make sure you check not only the radiator but also the entire cooling system channel from the leak. Water cooling leaks are characterized by water droplets under the machine. But not all water droplets are leaking. To do so check visually. Leaks can be seen from the seepage on the radiator or hose.

3. Check using radiator pressure tester
If you have this tool, it will be more effective. Radiator pressure tester will detect leakage of cooling system by using pressure. This means that this tool will provide pressure on the cooling system, if the pressure is stable then there is no leakage, on the contrary if when silenced the pressure decreases, then there is a leak.

Radiator Care Tips

To be durable, we need to take care. Besides preventing it will be easier than cleaning up the problem radiator. Some tips to keep the radiator durable, among others;


  • Check the volume of cooling water
  • Functional checks Cooling fan
  • Check the level of cleanliness of cooling water


Thus our discussion of the function and working principle of car radiator. Although initially this system is designed for vehicle type car, but now there are many motorcycles that apply liquid Cooling. The cooling treatment of the Sytem on cars and motorcycles is more or less the same. May be useful for us.