How does a car’s cooling system work?
I’ve been helping my uncle fix up an old Mercedes on the weekends, and by helping, I mean holding the flashlight. He keeps mumbling about the cooling system and how it’s not working correctly. He’s tried to explain what he means, but I’m still a bit confused. How does a car’s cooling system work?
- Coolant that is typically a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water and can withstand temperatures below 0°F and above 250°F.
- Passages throughout the engine block that fill with coolant and keep the engine and surrounding parts at an optimal temperature.
- A water pump that keeps coolant constantly moving.
- A thermostat that controls the temperature of the coolant by allowing warmed coolant that cannot cool the engine to flow towards the radiator.
- A radiator located behind the grill that pumps the coolant through small tubes and uses the airflow created by driving to cool the coolant.
- A radiator cap that controls pressure by releasing excess pressure and liquid into a reserve tank where it will be recirculated once cool.
- Hoses that transfer coolant between the engine and radiator, including a hose to the car’s heater where it heats the interior.