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​​Cooling System Home Page > Parts of the Cooling System > Radiator


Function: The radiator transfers heat from the engine's coolant to the outside air while the radiator cap seals and pressurizes the cooling system.


Signs of Wear: Radiator: Leaking, engine overheating, rusting, physical damage. Cap: Lack of pressure in cooling system, vapor escaping from cap, ill-fitting cap, worn gasket. (Note: Never attempt to remove a radiator cap while the engine is hot. serious injury could result.
















It is usually constructed from aluminum with plastic and tanks. Small tubes run the length of the radiator with small metal fins in between each tube. As the air travels over the pipes, either from the vehicle moving or because the radiator fan is pulling air through the radiator, the heat from the coolant is transferred to the air, and the cooled fluid travels back tot he engine.

Radiators can develop leaks -- either as a result of an object hitting the radiator and puncturing the outside or because the coolant has not been replaced regularly and has become acidic -- eating away the metal inside the radiator.

Debris floating within the cooling system can also collect in small tubes, restricting coolant flow through eh radiator. This will cause the engine to run hot, especially when climbing long hills rounder heavy acceleration. 

Dirt and debris can also collect within the fins of the radiator, restricting airflow across the radiator. This has a similar result as the small tubes being clogged. 

The radiator transfers heat from the coolant to the air, which is sucked in by the radiator fan.

Leaks or clogs int eh radiator can cause the engine to run hot.


Have your vehicle cooling system checked by an ASE Certified Technician in Cooling System. Set up a reservation today to visit our auto repair facility on the southwest side of Houston.