Best Engine Cooling Upgrades for Your Vehicle

Updated: 6 days ago

In tuned engines and vehicles that are driven hard, overheating can happen. Gaskets can fail, distort, and other serious problems can occur in an overheated engine.


  • Short power bursts often don't require additional cooling.

  • Track day cars and heavily modified cars will require engine cooling upgrades.

  • No changes to the cooling system should be required for minor tuning, such as remapping or intake and exhaust modifications.


If the engine overheats despite minor or no modifications, the issue is more likely to be a coolant blockage, a faulty thermostat, a malfunctioning water pump, an ignition timing error, or another technical issue.


Therefore, be sure your current system is functioning effectively and as you would expect given the conditions before you consider adding additional cooling methods. Under even moderate-heavy loads, a normal engine shouldn't overheat.


Major changes resulting in a significant boost in power could require additional cooling, but only to deal with the extra heat generated while using this higher power. You might not need to make any changes if you won't be using it for a long time.


engine cooling

Cooling Upgrades

The following are some of the many methods that can benefit with engine cooling.


  • Exhaust wrap

  • Heat reflective coatings

  • Heat shielding

  • Increase air flow

  • Install a fan and shroud

  • Reducing antifreeze content

  • Install an electric water pump

  • Install an oil cooler

  • Oil quality

  • Radiator sprayer

  • Minimise coolant system restrictions

  • Upgrade radiators and intercoolers

  • Use specific coolant additives

  • Vents

  • Water / methanol injection


Exhaust Wrap

The internal engine temperatures are not anticipated to be significantly affected by wrapping the exhaust. However, it considerably lowers engine bay temperatures and assists in the heat retention inside the exhaust.


An exhaust wrap made of titanium and fibreglass is recommended.


Heat Reflective Coatings

To further lower the risk of overheating, you can cover the fuel lines and intake pipes with heat reflecting tape. It is advised to use gold heat reflective tape.


Heat Shielding

Overall heat can be decreased by shielding the intake and fuel lines from the rest of the engine compartment. This lowers the temperatures of the fuel and intake air.


You can use any type of heat shielding, including heat shields built specifically for your vehicle or aluminium panels with unique shapes.


Increase Air Flow

The cooling system would be improved by opening the grill and bumper, which will increase airflow across the radiator and other heat exchangers.


To do this, either drill holes into the bumper or grill or swap them out for ones that flow more freely.


Install a Fan & Shroud

Install an electric fan if one isn't already installed, and if one is, consider upgrading it with a higher flow rate (fit this on the engine side of the radiator so it pulls cold air through the radiator).


Install a shroud around the fan to help pull air into the radiator efficiently. The fan improves efficiency and cooling by drawing all of the air through the radiator rather than just the air in front of the blades.


The fan will turn on earlier if you add a lower temperature sensor to your fan circuit, decreasing heat accumulation.


Reducing Antifreeze Content

Pure water conducts heat 60% more effectively than a 50/50 mixture and 140% more effectively than glycol. Nevertheless, don't forget to add additives, such as corrosion inhibitors, and antifreeze if it's cold.


Install an Electric Water Pump

Additionally, an electric water pump could increase the coolant's flow velocity throughout the engine, which would enhance performance.


Install an Oil Cooler

An oil cooler is also a good option if you are overheating. All of the oil is circulated via a radiator, which reduces oil temperatures and assists in cooling the engine.


You'll need to add a little extra oil now since the oil cooler will serve as a storage tank for the oil.


Oil Quality

Your choice of oil could have a big impact. If you compare the cheapest low-grade brand with the highest-quality synthetic of the same grade, you'll notice a difference in engine oil temperatures.


Radiator Sprayer

Spraying nitrous, water, or anything similar on the radiator may drastically cool it down; this can be useful before power runs or when the engine has to cool down.


Minimise Coolant System Restrictions

Check radiator hoses for kinks or collapses before driving, as these issues might prevent coolant from flowing.


Upgrade Radiators & Intercoolers

Replace the old intercooler and radiator with more efficient versions. Intercoolers and radiators with multiple cores and greater thickness are suitable upgrade choices.


Compared to regular radiators, they often let more coolant into the system, increasing heat capacity while also removing a lot more heat from the coolant.


Upgraded intercoolers significantly lower engine temperature by lowering the temperature of the air intake.


Use Specific Coolant Additives

Other chemicals that significantly boost the heat transfer capacity of water may be beneficial. A wetting agent, such as water wetter, is an example of this.


This may enhance the coolant's capacity for heat transmission.


Vents

Installing bonnet vents and other vents can enhance air flow over the radiators and other heat exchangers, further lowering temperature and increasing heat capacity. It can also help remove heat from the engine bay.


Water / Methanol Injection

Your vehicle's air intake system can benefit greatly from the addition of a water or methanol injection system since it will prevent knocking, lower air intake temperature, and a variety of other benefits.

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