How Car Cooling Systems Work

With the passage of time and advancement in technology, the gasoline engines have developed a lot but they are still not too much efficient at turning chemical energy into mechanical power. Almost seventy percent energy in gasoline is converted into heat. It is basically the job of the cooling system to manage that heat. It would be surprising that the cooling system on a car driving down the freeway in fact dispels sufficient heat for heating two average size houses. The basic work of the cooling system as suggested by the name is prevents the engine from getting over heated by transferring this heat to the air. Besides this, the cooling system also has many other important works.

A car’s engine runs best when it is warm. The engine is less sufficient and the components wear out faster when the engine is cold. It also causes more pollution. One more vital work of the cooling system is to allow the engine to get heat up as quickly as possible and then keep its temperature at a constant level.

This article explains about the about the parts of a car’s cooling system and how they subsequently work.

The Basics

Fuel constantly burns inside the car’s engine. This combustion makes a lot of heat to exit from the exhaust system but some of it soaks into the engine making it heated. The engine works best when the temperature of its coolant is at 93 degrees Celsius.

At this temperature, the combustion chamber is hot at an extent to completely vaporize the fuel providing a better combustion. The oil for lubricating the engine has lower thickness level making the engine waste less power. It also makes the metal parts wear lesser.

A car has two types of cooling systems, liquid-cooled and air-cooled.

Liquid Cooling is present in liquid cooled cars that circulate a fluid through pipes and passages in the engine. The liquid absorbs heat as it passes through the hot engine making the engine cool. The fluid passes through a heat exchanger or radiator after leaving the engine. It transfers the heat from the fluid to the air blowing through the exchanger.

Air Cooling was in some old cars and very few modern cars. Its process was that instead of circulating fluid through the engine, the aluminum fin covered engine block pushes the heat away from the cylinder. A powerful fan pushes air over the fins which cool the engine transferring the heat to the air.