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How A Radiator Works

Radiator Repair
Your car's engine runs at very high RPM (revolutions per minute), which you can imagine generates a lot of heat.
Somehow, the engine has to be kept cool to prevent it from breaking down. Yes, I guess it could be cooled by air, but that might not work so well. So we all have radiators in our cars, but how do these work?
Here's a step-by-step guide to how your radiator works...
It all starts with coolant and water. You have to fill your radiator with a mixture of water and coolant.
Coolant is also called antifreeze, because it does just that--it keeps the water in the radiator from freezing in cold weather.
The mixture of water and coolant runs throughout the engine to cool it down, then back to the radiator and the cycle begins again.
The Fan
The radiator fan is the next part in the cooling system. The fan runs, when it needs to or in some older vehicles the fan runs whenever the engine is running, to cool the radiator and the fluid inside it.
The fan is located directly in front of the radiator and behind the grill, and it pulls in cold air from outside of the vehicle.
The thermostat measures the temperature of the coolant-water mix, and when it reaches a certain temperature, it triggers and tells the fan to come on to cool the radiator fluid.
After going through the thermostat, the coolant-water mix then moves into the engine, cooling it on its way.
Now back to the radiator goes the fluid. The mixture runs through the engine and returns to the radiator.
The reserve or overflow tank is often located on the side of the engine bay. It stores coolant-water mix.
What happens is this...
When the engine warms up, so does the coolant-water mix and when it does, it bubbles or boils, but where does it go? Into the reserve!
The hot water goes into the reserve until the engine cools down.
Once the engine begins to cool, the radiator fluid stops boiling and the fluid level goes down, but if the fluid level goes down, the car will overheat, so the radiator pulls coolant-water mix from the reserve tank to make up for it.
You see, if there was not a reserve tank, the water would boil over and out of the radiator, if there was a release at least, and then when the engine began to cool, it would overheat!
It's all one continuing cycle, perfectly invented so we can get around safely and reliably!

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Contact Information

Highlands Radiator
2745 Elkhorn Blvd.
North Highlands, CA 95660  
Phone: 916-344-5544  
Business Hours:
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.