How an engine cooling system works

- Aug 30, 2018-

This article describes how the automotive cooling system works. Learn about overheating issues and the role of water, air and fan engine cooling systems.

A car engine produces a lot of heat when it is running, and must be cooled continuously to avoid engine damage.

Generally, this is done by circulating a coolant (usually water mixed with antifreeze through a special cooling channel). Some engines are cooled by air flowing through the fin cylinder housing.

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How the coolant circulates

Typical water-cooled system with engine-driven fan: Pay attention to the bypass hose to remove the heater's hot coolant. The pressure cap on the expansion tank has a spring-loaded valve that opens under a certain pressure.

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