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Unit 16 worksheet: Cooling systems

Competency unit: AURTTC003 Diagnose and Repair Cooling Systems

Activity summary:
This worksheet will be used as evidence regarding your work within the following competencies:
1. Describe the fundamental points about cooling systems and related basic components.
2. Identify cooling components.
3. Explain cooling system terminology as used within the automotive industry.

Reference material:
Automotive Mechanics: 10e, Chapter 20.

Safety precautions:
1. Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn.
2. Follow all standard operating procedures (SOP) when using workshop tools and equipment.
3. Follow safety precautions with regard to cooling system heat, pressure and moving parts.

Teacher/Supervisor Comments:

Teacher/Supervisor Signature:


Unit 16 Worksheet
To accompany May & Simpson Automotive Mechanics 10e
© McGraw-Hill Education Australia 2018

Additional Student Comments

Name of Workplace:

Student Name:

Student Signature:


Unit 16 Worksheet
To accompany May & Simpson Automotive Mechanics 10e
© McGraw-Hill Education Australia 2018

Competency unit: AURTTC003 Diagnose and Repair Cooling Systems

1. Cooling system components. Use the diagram below to identify the numbered cooling system
components and then complete the chart:

1 Water Pump 5 Top Radiator Hose

2 Water Pump Belt 6 Bottom Radiator Hose
3 Radiator Core 7 Thermostat
4 Radiator Cap or Pressure Cap 8

2. The following table highlights a range of cooling system components. Complete the table by providing
an explanation of the location, function and purpose of each component:

Component Where Located in Cooling System Function and Purpose

Cold Water from the radiator flows

Water jackets are provided in the
through water jackets. This water
Water Jackets cylinder block and in the cylinder
carries the heat from these hot parts to
the radiator.
The pump circulates cooling fluid
Pump is located near the center of
whenever the engine is running. it
Water pump engine so that fluid returning from the
takes cooling fluid from radiator and
radiator hits the pump vanes.
circulates it through engine.

Drive belts are located on water pump Drive belts are used to drive the water
Drive Belts
rotator pump.

The cooling fan is located at the front Fans cool the coolant as it circulates to
Electric Fans
or rear of the radiator the car's engine from the radiator.

Unit 16 Worksheet
To accompany May & Simpson Automotive Mechanics 10e
© McGraw-Hill Education Australia 2018

A radiator cooling fan is device that

Fan (belt driven Belt-driven fan is located behind the
can help regulate engine temperature
where fitted) radiator
by pulling air through a radiator

Its job is to block the flow of coolant

to the radiator until the engine has
warmed up. When the engine is cold,
In most cars the thermostat is placed
no coolant flows through the engine.
Thermostat under a housing near the water pump
Once the engine reaches its operating
on the cylinder head
temperature (generally about 200
degrees F, 95 degrees C), the
thermostat opens.

Temperature indicators are used to

Temperature indicate the driver regarding
It is located in instrument panel
indicator/sender overheating or an abnormal condition
of the cooling system

A heater core is a small radiator Hot coolant passing through the heater
Heater core located under the dashboard of the core gives off heat before returning to
vehicle the engine cooling circuit.

The radiator cap also contains a

vacuum valve. As temperatures drop
and the coolant contracts a vacuum is
Radiator cap
it is located on top of radiator created in the engine's cooling system.
The vacuum valve opens and allows
coolant to flow from the overflow tank
back into the radiator.

A header tank is a container of liquid

positioned at a higher level than a
Header tank it is located on the upper side of main tank, so that the level of pressure
radiator. can be maintained. The coolant in the
radiator header tank should have a mix
of water and antifreeze.

To prevent your engine from

overheating, your car pumps coolant
through your engine - fluid that
The radiator of a car is located under receives heat, and carries it away from
Radiator the hood, which is the large panel at the engine block. The radiator works
the front of the car. by passing your coolant through thin
metal fins, which allow the heat to
flow to the air outside your car much
more easily.

Unit 16 Worksheet
To accompany May & Simpson Automotive Mechanics 10e
© McGraw-Hill Education Australia 2018

3. Answer the following questions regarding cooling system operating principles:

(a) Why is a cooling system required as part of an internal combustion engine?

Engine removes waste heat through cool intake air, hot exhaust gases, and explicit engine cooling. Cooling
system is needed because high temperatures damage engine materials and lubricants and becomes even
more important in hot climates.
Also The cooling system is provided because temperature of the burning gases in the engine cylinder
reaches up to 1500 to 2000°C, which is above the melting point of the material of the cylinder body and
head of the engine.

(b) What are the four effects that heat can have on materials?

i. This will usually cause the head gasket to leak compression between adjacent cylinders
ii. Leak of coolant into the cylinders.
iii. Heating can also cause an overhead cam to seize and break.
iv. Heating may also stress old radiator and heater hoses and cause them to burst under the additional

(c) Heat can be transferred in three ways in order to dissipate heat from the engine. These are:

i. By Water Cooling
ii. By Air Cooling
iii. By Conduction

(d) Describe the function of a cross flow radiator:

In cross flow radiator the radiator cap is located in the area of the lowest pressure. This prevents the high
pressure that is created from other parts of the engine from making coolant go at fast speeds through the
radiator cap, keeping engine and radiator in better condition. This process will help keep car at the
temperature it will need to run properly and will prevent from having to do as much maintenance in the

(e) Explain the process you would follow to check combustion gas leakage into the cooling system.

Combustion gas, when it enters the cooling system through any leak, accumulates in the air cushion above
the radiator coolant level (in sealed coolant systems, this air cushion must be created by lowering the
coolant level about an inch and a half).
The Leak Tester analyzes this air: The blue fluid turns yellow when CO2 gas is detected in gasoline engines
and green in diesel engines. The double-chamber feature of the Leak Tester assures a high level of accuracy.
Conventional detection methods often give incorrect readings because alkaline particles present in the air
cushion can cause false indications of a combustion leak.
Alkaline particles are absorbed by the Leak Tester's first chamber, which acts as a filter, allowing only air
and CO2 to reach the second, upper chamber. If the blue fluid in this upper chamber turns yellow or green,
it is proof positive that there is a combustion gas (CO2) leak into the coolant.

Unit 16 Worksheet
To accompany May & Simpson Automotive Mechanics 10e
© McGraw-Hill Education Australia 2018

(f) Why are the following chemicals added to coolant inhibitors?

i. Silicate and phosphate: These green coolants typically use a phosphate/ silicate mix as the main
components in their inhibitor system. Conventional inhibitors like silicates and phosphates work by
forming a protective blanket that actually insulates the metals from the coolant.

ii. Ethylene glycol: It plays a critical role in sustaining engine heat balance by removing heat.
The addition of glycol slightly reduces the heat transfer of the water, but in most climates and
applications, freeze protection is critical. Nearly all engines use coolants with similar base fluids a
50/50 mix of ethylene glycol and water

4. Cooling system fault diagnosis.

The flow charts below specify common cooling system faults. Using the learning from this unit,
complete each flow chart by providing information as to possible causes and suggest a range of tests
or repairs you would recommend.

Fault Possible Cause Suggested Test/Repair

Check For leaks and fix them.

Loss of coolant because of a coolant leak is Turn off the air conditioner. Turn
probably the most common cause of engine on the heater. This blows some
overheating. Possible leak points include excess heat from the engine into
Engine Overheating hoses, the radiator, heater core, water pump, the car.
thermostat housing, head gasket, freeze 1. Put your car in neutral or park and
plugs, automatic transmission oil cooler, then rev the engine.
cylinder head(s) and block.
2. Pull over and open the hood.
Install a New Radiator Cap
A blown head gasket, bad intake manifold Replace Cracked Hoses
Loss of Engine gasket (V8engines), a cracked block, or a Fix a Leaking Water Pump
Coolant cracked cylinder head may cause coolant to Repair a Radiator Leak
blow down from reservoir. Fix Internal Engine Damage
Using Stop-Leak Products
Start the engine when it is cold
and rev the engine up to 1500 rpm
and listen to the cooling fan to see
if it is making a roaring noise
indicating it is locked up all the
The most common and most likely cause for time. Shut off engine in about 30
Engine slow to reach the engine to not get to operating seconds and then spin the cooling
Operating temperature is commonly cause by the fan by hand. The fan should spin
temperature thermostat stuck in the open position or is pretty free all the way around or
broken the fan clutch may be keeping fan
engaged all the time. Replace fan
clutch if it does not pass the tests.
If fan clutch is working okay then
you most likely have a stuck open

Unit 16 Worksheet
To accompany May & Simpson Automotive Mechanics 10e
© McGraw-Hill Education Australia 2018