A poorly maintained automotive radiator cooling system can cause no end of trouble. One of the main reasons you see broken down vehicles on the side of the road is cooling system failure.
The automotive radiator cooling system is really not too complex (as far as engine systems go). Try our short quiz on automotive cooling systems to test your knowledge (and, hey, you might even learn something while you’re at it!):
1. What percentage of automobiles have a radiator cooling system?
a. Less than 25%
b. 26% to 50%
c. 51% to 75%
d. 76% to 99%
2. What is the optimum mix of freeze protection and cooling?
a. 100% water
b. 25% anti-freeze/75% water
d. 75% anti-freeze/25% water
e. 100% anti-freeze
3. You should have your cooling system professionally inspected:
a. Once a month
b. Once a year
c. Every 2 years
d. Every 5 years
e. Every 10 years
4. The most common cause of cooling system failure is:
a. Broken or stuck thermostat
c. Broken water pump
d. Split or broken hose
e. Leaking tank
5. The automotive radiators cooling system works better under pressure because:
a. The coolant has a higher boiling point
b. The coolant moves faster
c. The coolant gets hotter
d. The radiator works at a lower temperature
e. You need less fluid
OK, you’re done with the quiz. Now, let’s look at the answers:
1. (e) We hesitate to say 100% only because there’s probably somebody, somewhere who has a non-radiator cooled car. The automotive radiator has been around for a long time, and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
2. (c) 50/50 is pretty much the best. In really cold climates, it may be safer to go with 70/30. If you live near the equator, you might be able to get away with 80/20.
3. (c) You should have your cooling system professionally tested and maintained at least once every two years.
4. (b) Sad to say, most automotive radiators fail because they are not well maintained. Eventually they corrode badly enough to fail.
5. (a) The higher the pressure, the higher the boiling point. Many automotive radiators function above 225 degrees. This is why you should never open the cap on hot radiators.