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Automobile - Cooling System

engine water temperature heat

The automobile uses an additional system to reduce the level of heat created by the engine. The cooling system also maintains the engine at a temperature that will allow it to run most efficiently. A liquid-cooled system is most commonly used.

The explosion of fuel in the cylinders can produce temperatures as high as 4,000°F (2,204°C); the temperature of exhaust gases, while cooler, still reach to 1,500°F (816°C). Liquid-cooling systems use water (mixed with an antifreeze that lowers the freezing point and raises the boiling point of water) guided through a series of jackets attached around the engine. As the water solution circulates through the jackets, it absorbs the heat from the engine. It is then pumped to the radiator at the front of the car, which is constructed of many small pipes and thin metal fins. These allow a large surface area to draw the heat from the water solution. A fan attached to the radiator uses the wind created by the movement of the car to cool the water solution further. Temperature sensors in the engine control the operation of the cooling system, so that the engine remains in its optimal temperature range.

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