A car radiator is part of the cooling system. A combustion engine including the one in your car needs to be cooled while driving. The water pump therefore pumps coolant fluid through the engine, cylinder head and the radiator. As the engine is hot, the coolant also heats up. The radiator and the ventilator ensure the coolant can be cooled down before it flows back into the water pump.
Until the 1980s the fins of the radiator used to be made of copper and the tubes, side plates and tanks of brass. Since the 1970s however, radiators have increasingly been made of aluminium which is a lot lighter and cheaper.
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