If you want your car or truck to serve you faithfully throughout the season ahead, you need to pay particular attention to its cooling system. After all, if you can't cool down that engine when it gets to 2500°C at full speed, it will quickly fail and leave you with a costly repair bill. So, how can you ensure that the most important part of this system — the radiator — remains in good condition?
How Your Car's Cooling System Works
Your vehicle will be fitted with a forward-facing radiator that is designed to expose the coolant to the outside air. It contains a complex matrix filled with tubes and fins, through which the coolant is forced during normal operation. When the coolant arrives at the radiator, it will have picked up a lot of heat from within the engine. As it passes through that matrix, the flow of air across the surface will help to radiate the heat outward. The coolant will return to its normal temperature and be pumped back into the engine to repeat the process.
Understanding the Challenges
This is a very efficient process, but issues can arise due to the radiator's inherent design. To work correctly, those fins and tubes need to be made from a specific material that is somewhat fragile. Also, those components are very narrow and susceptible to blockage.
Vulnerability to Damage
Occasionally, passing vehicles can throw stones up, affecting the radiator. They can easily damage the surface of the matrix and could lead to a leak. At the same time, microscopic pieces of metal can flow through the cooling system as they break away from certain internal parts of the engine. With time, these contaminants are combined with mineral deposits and can accumulate within the radiator matrix, interrupting the normal flow.
Risk of Corrosion
When the liquid comes into contact with metal components and these parts attract an electrical charge, electrolysis can occur. This can lead to corrosion, which can in itself lead to the potential for holes and leaks.
What to Watch Out For
So, keep a close eye on your radiator. Always ensure you take the vehicle to a mechanic for a scheduled service. If you do so, a mechanic will flush out the system, eliminate some of the accumulation, and inspect the radiator for damage.
You may have a big issue with your radiator if you notice any coolant on the floor underneath the vehicle. In this case, take the car in for repair and do not risk a major breakdown.
To learn more, contact an auto repair service.