Most people understand that the engine fitted to their car or truck can quickly overheat if steps are not taken to moderate those inner temperatures. After all, the very essence of an internal combustion engine involves fire, and without regulation, the average vehicle would not last very long. Yet some people cannot understand why the chosen cooling system is not as robust as they believe it could be. They may wonder why the radiator, in particular, is as vulnerable as it is and why they need to service that cooling system so much. So, why is this the case, and why should you pay close attention to those maintenance visits?
How to Regulate the Temperature
Engineers believe that the best way to regulate the internal temperature of an engine is to pump liquids through the engine block via a cooling system. Therefore, the typical block includes a warren of narrow passages through which the coolant is pumped before it is sent via an external hose to the radiator.
Why the Cooling System Is Effective
The radiator must be located at the front of the vehicle to be fully effective, so it is exposed to passing air while the vehicle is in motion. Moreover, the radiator must be made of very "thin" tubes and fins, forming a matrix spread across the outer surface.
The warm liquid is forced through these thin tubes and fins, and the heat is transferred to the outer layers. The much cooler air will then flow across those narrow tubes, absorbing the heat and carrying it away into the atmosphere.
Unfortunate Byproduct of Design
If the fins and tubes were not as thin as they are, the radiator device would be much less effective. However, those passages are so narrow (by design) that they can also become clogged by dirt and debris. So, tiny dirt particles may become lodged within those tubes as time goes by. Unfortunately, this contamination is an unavoidable byproduct of the cooling process and can contain small flecks of metal or rubber.
Flush the Radiator
When this contamination builds up to a certain degree, it can make it very difficult for the liquid to pass through the radiator and back into the engine. This is why it's important to service a vehicle as the manufacturer recommends so that a technician can flush out the radiator itself.
Your Best Practice
As you can see, the engine relies on this specific radiator design to ensure it can operate within an acceptable temperature range. So now that you know the importance of this cooling process, don't forget to get the radiator flushed during your next service visit. For more information on car servicing, contact a professional near you.