Q:

How do you read a radiator diagram?

A:

Quick Answer

A radiator diagram starts with the filler cap on top, through which the user adds radiator fluid as needed. The flow of the fluid depends on the radiator's positioning. The front of the radiator includes cooling fins for air flow. The side contains the core tubes and, toward the bottom, the transmission oil cooler. The back of the radiator includes the inlet and outlet valves that attach to the engine.

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Full Answer

The radiator sits at the front of a vehicle's engine. Its purpose is to provide air to cool radiator fluid. It also receives heated coolant. The heat from this coolant disperses to the fins and is pushed away from the engine. This drops the temperature of the coolant, allowing it to pull more heat from the engine.

Radiators are only part of an automobile's cooling system. Another major element is the radiator cooling fan, which forces air through the radiator while traveling at speeds too slow to create a strong breeze. Cooling fans can run via a belt linked into the mechanical system or by a thermostat controlled by the vehicle's electrical system.

The water pump forces the coolant from the radiator to the engine. After it absorbs the heat, it releases the heat back to the radiator through the thermostat. The thermostat constantly monitors the temperature of the engine and decides when to release or restrict coolant. A series of hoses connects the entire system and transfers the coolant to its appropriate destination.

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