Asked by: Idalia Ciriaco
automotive auto repair

What does a radiator do?

Last Updated: 25th April, 2020

15
The radiator works by passing your coolant through thin metal fins, which allow the heat to flow to the air outside your car much more easily. Sometimes, there is a fan that blows air across the radiator in order to carry the hot air out of your car.

Click to see full answer.

Likewise, what is the function of a radiator?

The radiator transfers the heat from the fluid inside to the air outside, thereby cooling the fluid, which in turn cools the engine. Radiators are also often used to cool automatic transmission fluids, air conditioner refrigerant, intake air, and sometimes to cool motor oil or power steering fluid.

Secondly, how do car radiators work? A radiator is a type of heat exchanger. It is designed to transfer heat from the hot coolant that flows through it to the air blown through it by the fan. Most modern cars use aluminum radiators. The fins conduct the heat from the tubes and transfer it to the air flowing through the radiator.

Similarly, it is asked, can a car run without a radiator?

You can run an engine without radiator. It's not immediate, but once the engine warms too much it will break. There are many engines that were develop specifically with this purpose in mind and only use the air flow to keep the temperature down. The engines that I know are mostly used in scooters and cars.

How much does it cost to replace a radiator?

If it is beyond repair, standard radiator replacement cost ranges between $292 and $1193 for both the parts and labor involved in the installation. The average cost for radiator replacement will be near $671. The cost will vary significantly depending on your model of car and the complexity of the work involved.

Related Question Answers

Luc Lindauer

Professional

Can I put water in my radiator?

Although water can be added to the radiator for this purpose, it's preferable to add a mixture of coolant and water because plain water can boil before the proper coolant will boil, causing your engine to overheat [source: pontiac]. A car radiator cannot work if there isn't enough coolant inside the system.

Elenor Quintairos

Professional

How does water flow through a radiator?

The boiler heats water until it forms into steam. The steam then travels up through the vertical pipe to the radiator where the thermal energy is given off through the fins. Eventually the steam becomes water and flows back down into the boiler for heating once again.

Sergejs Hobelheinrich

Professional

Can the radiator cause transmission problems?

When the engine and radiator do not receive the right flow of coolant, then it it can cause radiator problems. If a faulty radiator is not repaired, then it could also cause damage to the transmission if the transmission fluid is cooled using the radiator.

Qiaoli Bajo

Explainer

How do you flush out a radiator?

To flush a radiator, start by draining all of the old antifreeze in the radiator into a drainage pan. Then, seal the drain valve and pour a full bottle of radiator cleaner and 1 gallon of distilled water into the radiator reservoir. Next, turn your vehicle on with the heat on full blast for 5 minutes.

Jasna Hepples

Explainer

What are the signs of a bad radiator?

Four Signs You have a Bad or Failing Radiator
  • Your vehicle is overheating. If your vehicle constantly overheats, especially under normal driving conditions, this is one of the most common signs that your radiator is bad or failing.
  • Your vehicle is leaking coolant.
  • Sludge build up in your radiator.
  • Low coolant levels.

Arezki Kreps

Explainer

What are the different types of radiators?

There are three main types of convector radiator (which you can see below): Single Panel Convector radiators. Double Panel Convertor radiators. Double Panel Double Convector radiators.

Yaqueline Balfur

Pundit

How long does coolant last in a car?

Coolant made up of antifreeze and water out of your household tap, 50-50 solution, would last for around 3 years. Coolant made up of antifreeze and distilled (de-ionised) water, 50-50 solution, should last for around 5 years.

Birdie Weiler

Pundit

Is the radiator part of the engine?

The cooling system is made up of: passages inside the engine block and heads. a radiator cap to control the pressure in the system. interconnecting hoses to transfer the coolant from engine to radiator (and also to the car's heater system where hot coolant is used to warm up the vehicle's interior)

Yongjie Grohsebner

Pundit

Can you use water instead of coolant?

While water does help to keep your engine cool, it does not work nearly as well as coolant does. First of all, water boils faster and at a lower temperature than coolant. If it is winter, then you risk having your engine block crack if you run your engine with only plain water.

Irma Ponton

Pundit

Can you drive without a radiator fan?

Yes, you can drive your car without a radiator fan, but you never should. Your vehicle's cooling system is crucial to its performance, and every time your engine overheats, you cause damage.

Nerea El Yahyaoui

Pundit

What happens if radiator is empty?

Once you empty the radiator then zero cooling as nothing is pumping. Water flow will stop and the heat will not be able to be transferred out of the engine block. A lack of coolant means that the system will not be able to be pressurized by the pump and the coolant will not flow.

Ouida Knoper

Teacher

Why is my coolant low but no leaks?

Coolant leaks can also happen inside your car. If you have ever found your vehicle missing coolant with no visible leak on the ground or on or around your cooling system, the problem could be a worn out radiator cap, which allows coolant to actually escape while you're driving.

Krysta Saianda

Teacher

Why is my car losing coolant but not overheating?

If you're struggling to find the source of your coolant leak there's a chance it is caused by a blown head gasket. If a head gasket fails it may cause a serious coolant leak and overheating or may be a small leak that is hard to detect. Worse yet the coolant may try to mix with your engine oil.

Verlie Lorden

Teacher

Is coolant and antifreeze the same?

Antifreeze is commonly used as one of the components of a coolant mixture – coolant is generally a 50-50 split between antifreeze and water. Antifreeze (specifically the ethylene glycol, which is its main ingredient) is used to lower the freezing point of the liquid that circulates around the engine of a vehicle.

Hecham Henneken

Teacher

How do I know if my car needs coolant?

Rather than open the cap on the radiator, just check to see whether the liquid reaches the “Full” line on the side of the coolant reservoir shown here. It's part of the coolant recovery system. If the liquid doesn't reach the “Full” line, open the bottle and add a 50/50 mix of water and coolant until it does.

Alesya Grave

Reviewer

Can low coolant make your car shake?

It is possible for low or no coolant in the engine to cause your car to shake. This may cause brownish coolant to overflow from your radiator since it is a mixture of oil, petrol and coolant. Also, the air is being pushed into the radiator the accumulated pressure will be very high.

Jutta Gladchenko

Reviewer

Do cars lose coolant over time?

Coolant can deteriorate over time and should be tested to see if it's still good, as it can be hard to tell just by appearances. Even if the coolant reservoir shows sufficient coolant level and testing shows the cooling and antifreeze protection are still adequate, a coolant drain and antifreeze flush may be needed.

Oury Achahbar

Reviewer

How do I know if my radiator is flowing?

Start your car's engine and allow it to idle. Look through the radiator filler neck to see if the coolant flows. At this time, it should not be flowing as your car has not reached the operating temperature to cause the thermostat to open. If you find the coolant is flowing, it means the thermostat valve is open.

Kedara Fliegauf

Reviewer

Why did my radiator crack?

The radiator has a thermostat that helps to regulate the amount of fluid used to balance the engine temperature. A faulty thermostat can cause overheating or high coolant pressure inside the radiator, leading to a crack. A leaking head gasket can cause overheating or high coolant pressure, resulting in a crack.