Radiator Cooling Tips for High Performance Autos

January 27, 2012

Owners of high performance vehicles know that with increased power comes a considerable rise in engine heat. Radiator cooling tips to help lower the high temperatures is something that owners of these types of cars really appreciate. By helping your car's engine to run cooler, you will increase the life of your high performance engine and get the most power possible out of it.

Increase Radiator Size

If space in your engine area permits, you should install a radiator that has a larger surface area for your high performance vehicle. A larger radiator face allows more of the radiator fluid to be exposed to cooler ambient air, which is pushed into the radiator from the outside. A larger surface area on your high performance vehicle's radiator will increase your cooling system's cooling capability proportionately.

Install a High Performance Radiator Fan

Cooler ambient air becomes heated as it passes through your car's radiator. The air will always enter your radiator at the outside air temperature and exit the radiator at a higher temperature. A high-performance vehicle needs to push as much air as quickly as possible to the radiator, to elevate the heat transfer levels. Installing a fan that pushes air faster through the radiator will result in lowering the temperature of air that exits the cooling system.

Radiator Fin Considerations

Increasing the radiator fin count will provide more surface area, allowing for better transfer of heat. However, increasing the fin count can increase the radiator's restriction to cooling airflow. A lower cooling airflow will usually result in lower heat transfer. You should research the best combination of fin performance and core restriction to produce maximum heat transfer. If you need to have fin counts higher than 12 fins per inch, you should consider serpentine fin radiators, as they allow for higher fin counts and will sometimes result in improved performance.

Consider Using Water Only

Water has a higher specific heat than either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol antifreeze coolant. Water therefore provides the best heat transfer for a cooling system. Most commercial antifreeze coolants provide cooling, antifreeze protection and corrosion inhibitors to help prevent oxidation and rust in the cooling system. Many also include a lubricant for use in the water pump. However, water is best for maximum heat transfer, and can help your high performance vehicle run cooler in the summer. If you use water only in your high performance radiator, you should add a rust and corrosion inhibitor, as well as a small amount of lubricant for your car's water pump.

Copper is Better than Aluminum

If you want to maximize cooling in your vehicle high-performance vehicle, you should consider choosing a copper or copper/brass radiator rather than an aluminum one. Copper is a much better conductor of heat than aluminum, and can help increase cooling performance considerably. Many copper radiators have copper fins, but use brass tubes.

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