Skip to content

Everything you need to know about bus and truck radiators

Radiators are one of the most vital components in a vehicle as it serves a critical role in preventing the engine from overheating. Bus and truck radiators, in particular, work diligently to cool large engines and all of their moving parts that are constantly producing large amounts of friction and heat.

How does a truck radiator work?

Primarily, a radiator works to prevent an engine from overheating. It does this by cooling a mixture of anti-freeze and water that is moved through a cooling system by a centrifugal pump, or water pump. The water pump with push heated fluid out of the engines chambers and through the radiator so that absorbed heat can be released into the air. This process is known as heat exchange. The cooled fluid is pumped back through the engine to prevent it from overheating – this cycle is continued for as long as the engine is running. 

If the radiator fails or is faulty the engine will overheat, which can lead to major damages to the engine. Radiator specialists will be able to assess the failed radiator and either repair or offer a radiator replacement service dependant on the issue.

What damages can a failed radiator cause?

Failed or faulty radiators will likely result in an overheated engine, which will, in turn, cause major damages to the engine and other components. If an engine is to overheat the head gasket may blow, the head may warp, it could crack the engine block and/or damage the valves. Which pretty much means you will be up for a new engine or an engine overhaul. 

Keep in mind, there are several reasons as to why a radiator might not be working properly, such as:

  • Leaking hoses
  • Failed thermostat
  • Air is the cooling system
  • Defective water pumps
  • Failing system fan
  • Too much or the wrong coolant
  • Obstructions in the cooling system

What is the difference between a car and truck radiator?

Both radiator systems in a light vehicle and heavy vehicle work very much the same as the principal science behind radiators works for both vehicles. The biggest difference is the size, capacity and durability that a heavy vehicle radiator will have. Bus and truck radiators are specially designed to accommodate heavier loads, increased vibrations, more stress and longer distances. 

What are the different types of radiators?

There are two main variants of radiators used for trucks and light vehicles – the crossflow radiator and the downflow radiator. A crossflow radiator is designed with coolant tanks on the sides (fender to fender) with the fluid running horizontally across the front of the vehicle. A downflow radiator is designed with tanks on the top and bottom with the fluid running vertically. 

Bus and truck radiators have two more common variants; the low-flow radiator and the bolt-on radiator. The low-flow radiator utilises multiple passes of coolant through the radiator, whereas a bolt-on radiator has tanks bolted onto a core using a gasket. Both these types of radiators can be made using either a crossflow or a downflow style.

The team of radiator specialists at Motoradco are the experts in supplying, maintaining and repairing bus and truck radiators for customers throughout Sydney. Our Granville based workshop has a range of intercoolers and radiator replacement parts, both genuine and aftermarket, suitable for all sectors, including industrial, marine and mining. Contact us today on (02) 9637 3017 to discuss how we can best serve you.

Scroll To Top