If an internal combustion engine is running, it is generating heat. Once the engine reaches its optimal operating temperature, any excess heat has to be removed to prevent the buildup of higher temperatures that can severely damage the engine; this would come with a very expensive price tag and is something you want to avoid. This is where the radiator comes in.
So, what is it? Basically, the radiator is an apparatus used for the exchange of heat, moving heat from the coolant or water to the air.
What are they made from? While radiators back in the day were made from readily available and strong steel, today’s radiators are predominantly made from aluminium and plastic.
How do they work, exactly? As coolant or water circulates through your vehicle’s engine, excess heat is transferred from the engine to the coolant; this raises the liquids temperature. Then, the coolant or water is pumped into either one of hte sides, the top, or the bottom of the radiator and starts to flow throughout it’s tubes. While it does this, a fan located behind the radiator draws cooler air from outside the vehicle to the radiator’s fins which causes the heat to move from the coolant or water to the air.