A great article from Road and Track explaining some of the intricacies of your engines cooling system:
“Let’s start with this: Heat is the enemy. Well, maybe not the enemy. Call it a necessary evil, like a real job, health insurance, or in-laws.
If you own a car that burns gas, what, you think it’s going to get cold? Those explosions that make the pistons go up and down generate heat. A lot of it. If that heat isn’t carried away, good-bye, moving parts, hello, expensive seized lump. On the other hand, some amount of heat is a good thing; when an engine is warm, it produces fewer emissions and is more efficient.
To keep things in the Goldilocks zone, every car has a cooling system. This is life or death for an engine. Cooling-system problems won’t just stop you, their wake of destruction will reduce you to tears. This is worst on cars with a long, straight aluminum cylinder head (think BMW inline-six); after overheating just once, heads like that can warp or crack. Rebuild time commenceth.”
Read the rest of this article over at Road and Track: