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Part of the car's cooling system the radiator plays an important role in enabling the car 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. The cooling system also enables the engine to reach the required heat quickly and keeps 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. The cooling system does its job by allowing liquid coolant to move through the engine. The liquid absorbs the heat from the engine which in turn cools the engine down. When the liquid leaves the engine it flows into the radiator which then removes the heat from the liquid 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 hose and returns to the pump.
There are many problems that can arise with your car's cooling system. Radiator specific faults can occur, such as a radiator leak or leaky fittings. If the radiator has a leak you may notice bubbles escaping or steam billowing out of the radiator. If you notice that your engine is hotter than usual this could indicate damage to the radiator, which, over a long period of use, will eventually deteriorate and need replacing. Due to prolonged use, old radiators can experience a variety of problems. Rust; a failed thermostat; blockages and build up causing a restriction to the coolant flow; a faulty water pump; loose solders; wear and tear on the seams and cracked hoses can all cause the radiator to malfunction and require a replacement.