Cooling System – The Rundown

Inside your car’s engine, combustion temperatures can reach 2000°F and higher. Naturally, there is a lot of cooling that must occur. A large group of components called the “cooling system” work together to ensure that your engine is being properly cooled. The cooling system’s main function is to disperse heat from the engine, averting overheating and extreme engine temperatures. Each individual component plays an integral part in ensuring sufficient cooling.



Radiator – The radiator is a large, block-type piece of metal which cools hot coolant coming from the engine. The core of the radiator consists of a set of tubes that the coolant flows through. Surrounding the core are “fins” which take in air and dissipate heat from the coolant in turn.

Radiator Cap – The radiator cap offers direct access to the coolant reservoir. Its main purpose is to maintain proper cooling system pressure. When the radiator cap is removed, one is able to check coolant levels and (if needed) add more coolant.

Radiator Hoses – The radiator hoses transport coolant from the radiator to the engine. A typical cooling system has two hoses; one upper and one lower. These hoses are sturdy, specifically molded to fit varying vehicle cooling systems while also being flexible enough to handle engine vibration and high temperatures. They are also reinforced with a layer of fabric to maintain resistance to pressure and to add overall strength.

Water Pump – The water pump’s main function is to pump coolant throughout the entire cooling system into the engine block. It is typically bolted to the front of the engine block & is connected to the cooling system via the lower radiator hose.

Thermostat – The thermostat is a temperature gauge attached to the water pump. The main functions of the thermostat are to maintain proper engine operating temperature along with regulating coolant flow.

Radiator Fan – Typically mounted in front of the radiator, the radiator fan blows air directly into the radiator, lowering temperature of the coolant flowing through the core.

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