Part of the car's cooling system, the coolant pipe plays an important role in enabling the engine to function as efficiently as possible and to perform at its best. The main function of the cooling system is to keep the engine cool and stop it from overheating. An engine that persistently overheats can cause big damage to the engine and mechanical parts of the car. The cooling system also enables the engine to quickly reach the heat required for internal combustion to occur and helps to keep the engine maintained at this constant heat. This means the engine can reach optimum performance as quickly as possible; a cold car engine does not run properly and can cause damage to the engine and components. It is important, therefore, that the temperature of the engine is precisely right, and the coolant pipe functions to enable this to happen.
The coolant hoses or pipes are designed to withstand extremes of temperature and to absorb vibration. Coolant pipes can be manufactured from a number of materials but are often made from ethylene propylene EPDM rubber, because of its ability to cope with extremes of temperature. The coolant pipe is connected to the top of the radiator and connects to the engine via the thermostat. There is also a coolant pipe at the bottom of the radiator which connects to the water pump.
Coolant, a combination of water and anti-freeze, is responsible for helping to make sure the engine doesn't overheat. The cooling system does its job by allowing liquid coolant to move through the cooling passages in the engine. The coolant pipe functions to carry the coolant into and out of the radiator. As the coolant travels through the engine, it absorbs the heat from the engine which in turn cools the engine down. When the liquid leaves the engine it flows into the radiator via the coolant pipe. The radiator removes the heat from the coolant into the air being blown through the radiator by the fan. The radiator is usually made of aluminium and consists of a series of internal tubes, which allow the liquid coolant to flow through the radiator. The radiator has little fins on the end, which act as heat conductors, removing the heat from the liquid in the tubes and transferring it to the air that is being pumped through the radiator. The radiator has a pressure valve and two tanks on either side which store any excess liquid coolant before it passes through the outlet pipe and returns to the water pump, via the coolant pipe, and the process begins again.
The correct amount of coolant needs to be present, and the right amount of coolant flowing through the radiator at all times that the car is in motion. If the coolant levels are too low this can have fatal results for the cooling system and subsequently the engine. The coolant pipe needs to be in sound condition so that the coolant can travel freely in and out of the radiator; any cracks, dents, or beaks could compromise the flow of the coolant. The coolant level sensor functions to ensure that when the level of coolant drops below the correct level that the driver is alerted to this. Usually located in the coolant reservoir/recovery tank or directly in the radiator, the coolant level sensor measures the amount of coolant in the radiator. If there is not enough coolant, a switch is activated which sends a signal to illuminate the warning light on the dashboard. This indicates that there is a problem with the cooling system which will need investigating.