Radiant: Sending out light. Radio: Device for sending out sound waves. Radiator: Component of your vehicle that emits heat. Actually, there’s a little more to it than that. Your car’s radiator not only emits heat, it has the monumental task of heat exchange that keeps your ride from literally melting down. If you think you have a radiator problem–most often indicated by an overheating car–visit Carmedix in Durham, North Carolina, to have our ASE certified technicians correct the problem before your car not only runs hot, but also has a catastrophic engine or transmission failure.
Your auto’s radiator works hard behind the scenes, yet it is often taken for granted until there’s a problem. Simply stated, your car is a heat plant. The engine, which works using combustion to produce energy, generates a tremendous amount of thermal energy. Further, as parts move, the friction they create also generates heat. The transmission produces warmth, too, which is absorbed by the transmission fluid/oil. The radiator allows your vehicle to deal with all this heat.
As coolant circulates, it removes heat from the engine. The hot fluid then goes through the tiny tubes of the radiator which connect to external fins that allow cool air passing through to remove much of the heat from the tubes. Many tubes also have turbulator fins inside to agitate the fluid, facilitating maximum contact between fluid and the cooled tube walls to improve cooling. Electric fans assist by pulling cool air across the radiator’s fins and pushing hot air out in the exchange. Most radiators today are constructed from aluminum. The thin flattened aluminum fins are brazed (connected) to the tubes so that they can conduct the heat outward. Not only does the radiator cool the engine, it also helps remove heat from the transmission. In fact, most radiators have a tank on each side where a transmission cooler is located. As this cooler removes heat from the transmission oil, it basically acts as a radiator within a radiator.
As you can see, although you don’t often have to think about your radiator, it is a critical component. Without it, your car will quickly run hot, causing the overheated metal parts to warp and/or meld together and rubber gaskets to disintegrate. If you continue to drive your car when it has overheated, you will most likely have catastrophic failure very shortly. Therefore, if you notice the early signs of a possible radiator issue such as the running temperature being hotter than it used to be, or if you have an immediate problem such as your car suddenly overheating, don’t delay. Get help immediately from Carmedix.