Published: Jan 1989
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The purpose of an engine cooling system is to remove excess heat produced by engine operation and control metal temperatures within safe limits. High speed driving with today's engines can produce enough heat energy to melt a 200 lb (91 kg) cast iron engine block in 20 minutes. Even operating at moderate speeds, the temperatures inside the engine are extremely high. Combustion gas temperatures may be as high as 4500°F (2482°C). The heads of the exhaust valves may be red hot, and the temperature of lubricated parts, such as pistons, may run 200°F (93°C) or more above the boiling point of water. When metal temperatures are not controlled by adequate cooling, the consequences are lubrication failure and serious engine damage. This is especially true with engines having aluminum heads.