What Makes Your Car Tick: Automative Heat Exchanger and More

Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself how your car is able to run so fast? As a society, the human race has streamlined travel. People no longer have to heavily rely on those old horse and buggy carriages!

If you have ever wanted to learn more about how your car runs, continue reading. From the tires and AC unit to the high performance automotive parts here’s more information on how your modern marvel gets you from point A to point B.

The Common High Performance Automotive Parts of a Car

There are hundreds of different parts of a car, from the high performance automotive parts like the heat exchanger, to simpler parts like the pedals. Regardless, here’s more information on your car’s common areas that you’re likely already familiar with!

Your Engine’s High Performance Automotive Parts

You know how the core is one of the most fundamental parts of any piece of machinery? This cylinder in your engine is this significant piece.

Cars can have up to six or even eight cylinders in one engine. They can be arranged in a V shape, or in an inline position.

Your engine also has sparkplugs. These spark plugs ignite the car’s air and fuel mixture that is required to power the car.

Next up, we have the valves in the engine. There is an intake valve to let in air. Then, there is also an outtake valve, that expels everything out of the system.

The piston moves up and down the car’s cylinder to help power the car. The piston has various rings aptly named piston rings. These rings provide an effective and sliding seal between the inner and outer edges.

While this is just one of many high performance automotive parts in a quality car, the piston rings serve two purposes.

  • These rings prevent the fuel/air mixture and exhaust in the combustion chamber from leaking into the sump during times of compression and combustion.
  • The piston rings keep the car’s oil in the sump from leaking into the combustion area. If it leaks anywhere else, the oil can be burnt and lost or evaporated.

Next, we also have the sump pump, connecting rod, and crankshaft.

The Basics of the Cooling System

The radiator is a heat exchanger that allows your car to run easily and smoothly. This is the area of your car that prevents the entire vehicle and engine from over heating. A car works best when the coolant is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, thank your radiator the next time you’re cruising along a desert highway!

Furthermore, it works by transferring the hot air from the coolant that flows through it to the air blown through it by the fan. Most cars these days have radiators made from aluminum. This part also consists of thin aluminum fins and flattened tubes for the air to pass through.

The fins conduct the heat from the tubes and transfer it towards the fan.

The turbulence of the performance fluids can be affected by the tabulator. In order for the entire system to function properly, this coolant must travel at high speeds. Due to this system, the liquid is cooled once it comes into contact with the tubes — by creating turbulence, the fluids are mixed together and heat is extracted.

Radiators are so large, that they have two tanks, one on each side. The transmission cooler is inside the tanks. One serves as a way into the contraption, while the other tanks serve as an ‘outlet’. While all this jargon can feel overwhelming for someone who doesn’t understand the anatomy of a car, simply understand that the transmission cooler is like a radiator in a radiator. Except, the coolant exchanges heat with oil in the radiator.

The Thermostat

The thermostat in your car does a phenomenal job of regulating the temperature in the engine.

It works by allowing the engine to heat up to a certain temperature. Then, it maintains this temperature at a constant rate.

How is it able to maintain the same temperature?

It does this by adjusting the quantity of water that goes through the car’s radiator. At low temperatures, the outlet to the radiator is then blocked. However, once the temperature of the coolant rises to between 82 – 91 C (180 and 195 F), the thermostat starts to open, During this window, this compartment allows fluid to flow through the radiator. Within no time the coolant reaches a temperature of 93 – 103.

The thermostat finally opens up all the way. As it heats up, the smart valve opens around an inch in width — its’ certainly one of the coolest parts of your car, quite literally!

What is the Pressure Cap?

Moving onto the pressure cap, this device helps to increase the boiling point of the coolant in the radiator.

A simple cap is able to raise this temperature up to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. It works the same way as a pressure cooker — hence the name. The cap is also a pressure valve. When the liquid and gas flow heats up, the pressure within the unit builds up. Since there is nowhere else for the pressure to go, it ends up in the cap. Once it reaches a certain reading — around 15 psi — it presses the valve in the system, allowing the pressure to escape.

The result? The coolant passes through the overflow tube and straight into the bottom of the system’s overflow tank. This specific and well-calculated system keeps air out of the chamber. When the radiator cools down, a vacuum is created in the cooling system. It pulls open another valve that is spring loaded and sucks water back in from the bottom of the overflow tank. Finally, it replaces the expelled water.

The AC Compressor

Speaking of keeping you cool, the AC allows you to stay cool as a cucumber, even when driving through 100 degree heat. It works in tandem with the radiator by pumping coolant throughout the entire system. Without this crucial part, driving anywhere in a hot car would be a nightmare.

The Fan Helps Keep Things Cool Too

There is another part of your car that helps the engine regulate its temperature — the fan!

This fan is powered electronically on most models. It really depends! Newer front wheel drive cars always have an electric fan. The engine is mounted transversely. Which means that the engine’s output is pointed towards the car’s side. A thermostatic switch or the engine’s computer also helps keep the fan running in these types of models. However, not all cars are created equally. Some have fans that are engine driven. Take rear-wheel drive cars with longitudinal engines, for example!

These cars also have a thermostatically controlled viscous clutch to help power the fan.

The Battery

The car’s battery is another significant component, made up of even smaller and more intricate parts. Let’s start with the basics.

First, you have the battery terminal. It comes standard in all car batteries and is also one of many Jeep Grand Cherokee parts. This part connects the battery itself to the car’s electrical system. There are also three types — post, top/side, and L.

One of the more interesting and awesome aspects of your car battery is it stores its energy in chemical form. Once you turn your key in the ignition, this energy turns into electrical energy, powering all aspects of your vehicle.

The Alternator

The alternator is another part that allows you to drive your car. It works by charging the battery and to power a car’s electric system when the engine is running. Alternatively, alternators have the great advantage of over directing current generators of not using a commutator, which makes them simpler and more rugged than a DC generator. Furthermore, automotive alternators use a set of rectifiers to be able to convert AC to DC in the car. To provide direct current with low ripple, these alternators have a three-phase winding. In addition to this, there are pole-pieces of the rotor. These are shaped (claw-pole) so as to produce a voltage waveform closer to a square wave that, when rectified by the diodes, produces even less ripple than the rectification of three-phase sinusoidal voltages.

Why is Fluid so Important?

Another aspect of your car that is crucial as high performance automotive parts? The fluids! The fluid also help keep your car cool. Without them, you wouldn’t have the proper liquids running through all of these amazing high performance automotive parts.

Coolants also help to:

  • Keep your car in better shape longer
  • Coolent helps keep your car from freezing
  • Coolant helps keep your car from overheating
  • Coolant keeps the oil in your car from becoming either a solid or a gas — which can happen when your car is submersed into dramatic tempertures

The coolant in one’s car should also be changed every two months to keep the car in the best shape possible.

The Automotive Heat Exchanger

Last but not least, the automotive heat exchanger is another complex system that powers your car.

How High Performance Automotive Parts Help Power the Engine

Moving away from parts, here’s the more technical side on how your engine works using high performance automotive parts. It’s not just a jumbled mess of wires! Many people often feel overwhelmed when popping their hood open. However, every item has a reason for being there. Ensure you’re not messing around underneath the hood if you encounter an issue with your car. Always call a certified professional.

Types of Engines

Your engine is made up of various high performance automotive parts. But there are also various different kinds of engines. For starter’s, there’s the popular internal combustion engine. This engine can be either powered by diesel or a gas turbine.

There are also external combustion engines, although these are not as common.

They can be powered by steam or coal. Due to their inefficiency compared to the internal combustion engines, these aren’t used as much in vehicles these days.

Internal combustion engines are also quite fascinating. The reason is, that they take a high energy fuel — such as gasoline — and light it up in a small and enclosed space, causing your car to create the energy it needs to get you from one place to the next! Additionally, nearly all vehicles use what is called a four-stroke combustion cycle. This cycle is used to convert regular petroleum into fast motion. It involves these steps.

  • a starting position
  • an intake stroke
  • a compression stroke
  • an ignition of fuel
  • a power stroke
  • an exhaust stroke


Whether you’re driving a brand new car, or looking for repairable salvage Jeeps for sale, it’s crucial for every car owner to possess some knowledge about how their vehicle works. The more you know about high performance automotive parts, the better!

Hopefully, you have a newfound appreciation for your car after reading about all the intricacies that make it run. Think of this the very next time you go out for a drive!