Anatomy of a Radiator

A car's radiator is part of its cooling system. After the coolant has passed through the hot engine and absorbed its heat, it reaches the radiator. Here the heat from the liquid is transferred to the air and released. This continuous cycle helps keep the engine cool.


The grille allows air to reach the radiator.

A radiator's core is made up of fins and tubes. These are designed to afford the maximum surface area in the smallest space. The circuitous route followed by the coolant within the radiator allows for heat to be drawn out to the radiator walls.


Modern car radiators have special sensors that measure the temperature of the coolant after it has passed through the radiator. This measurement is transferred to a gauge fitted on the dashboard that the driver of the vehicle can monitor.

Transmission Cooler

The transmission cooler is inside the radiator tank. Just like the radiator itself, its job is to exchange energy. The oil from the transmission enters the cooler and its heat transfers to the coolant in the radiator surrounding it.

About the Author

Justin Schamotta began writing in 2003. His articles have appeared in "New Internationalist," "Bizarre," "Windsurf Magazine," "Cadogan Travel Guides" and "Juno." He was a deputy editor at Corporate Watch and co-editor of "BULB" magazine. Schamotta has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Plymouth University and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Cardiff University.