Thermal energy is produced in endothermic engines through combustion of the fuel, which is burned in the engine’s cylinders.
The main task of the cooling system is to dissipate the heat produced by the combustion of fuel in order to keep the temperature of each engine component within tolerable limits.
Liquid cooling systems are the most widely used and effective systems for vehicles. These contain a fluid consisting of water and ethylene glycol that is driven through a pipe circuit by a centrifugal pump. When this liquid reaches an optimum temperature, a thermostatic valve allows it to pass through the radiator, where it is cooled to a lower temperature. The liquid can then resume the cycle within the engine block and perform its function of preventing overheating and maintaining a constant running temperature.
The temperature of the coolant is regulated by thermo switches and sensors fitted to the radiator or cooling system tubes.
These devices perform various functions, including:
- Measuring coolant temperature
- Controlling needle gauges
- Controlling warning lights
- Activating the radiator cooling fan.