Cooling system in a race car – how to tweak it?

Cooling system in a race car – how to tweak it?

Find out how to properly care for your radiators. Find out what to do with the seals and how to dilute or thicken the fluid! You'll need it before the rally!

The primary task of the cooling system is to maintain the engine temperature at 90-100 degrees Celsius. Any increase or decrease in temperature below these limits will result in poorer performance of the entire drive train. What can be done to keep the radiator working optimally?

At the beginning we would like to point out that if you follow the recommendations of this article, you will have an advantage over other racers, but not because of additional elements of the cooling system that will make its work even more efficient. It can’t be, if originally your system managed to keep the temperature at 90-100 degrees Celsius. It all depends on how you take care of your cooling system. If you don’t do certain things regularly, it may not work as well as it should, which will affect your car’s performance. Today we’re going to show you a few ways to make sure the slightest deviation in system performance doesn’t occur when you’re driving in competition. This will translate into better times, and probably better places too!

How to take care of cooling system?

First of all, check the coolant level in the reservoir. You should do it even every two weeks, if you ride in competitions. People who ride little can do it every month. The amount of fluid should be within the MAX/MIN limits marked on the reservoir. Remember, however, that if you have lost quite a lot of fluid since the last check, but it is still within the limits, it may already be a warning signal for you

If there is any loss below normal, remember to top up the fluid. Add coolant or coolant concentrate to half the MAX/MIN limits. If you’re thinking about distilled water, give up. This is not a good way to replenish the fluid, you can end up with the fluid heavily diluted and this can translate into leaks, especially if there are any micro leaks in the system.

The situation is different when you want to dilute the coolant because it is too thick. Here distilled water is already recommended, but remember not to use tap water, which naturally promotes corrosion of metal parts in the cooling system. Water straight from the tap can also promote the formation of scale deposits.

Every fluid has its own freezing point, which is indicated on the package. However, over time a situation occurs where the freezing point increases. It is no longer -35 degrees, but -20 degrees. This can be unfavorable in the winter, even if they are not severe in recent years. So check the freezing point of your coolant and possibly use a concentrate to lower the freezing point

After each race, but also before each rally, check the condition of the cooling system for any leaks or leaks. We know that right before a race you may not have a chance to get to a mechanic to replace a leaking component, however this is not always necessary. Sometimes a temporary seal is all it takes to get your cooling system to magically start working better, which will translate to better performance during the race.

An important rule – if you dilute the coolant, do it with a concentrate, but preferably with distilled water in a 50/50 ratio, because as it turns out, too concentrated fluid means lower cooling capacity of the engine through the cooling system. This contributes to performance, and in extreme cases can lead to water pump damage.

How to quickly seal the cooling system? Tip

There is one way – professional radiator sealant. Use it every time you see a leak in the cooling system. However, use proven products that contain Kevlar fibers. It is the only material that provides a complete seal, and it is not only stronger than steel, but also much lighter than it. It can cope with leaks caused by stones hitting radiators or rust eating through metal.