It’s summer, and it’s warming up across the country. Many of you out there have cooling questions, so CSF teamed up with Speedhunters.com to answer a list of questions in regards to proper vehicle cooling submitted by the millions of readers of Speedhunters across the globe.

Ever wonder what the difference between a down-flow radiator or a cross-flow radiator is? We’re here to help!

Above, CSF’s Honda Civic radiator is pictured first (CSF #2858). It’s a down-flow radiator, while the Scion FR-S / Subaru BR-Z radiator following it (CSF #7050) is a cross-flow radiator.

The difference between Cross-flow radiators and down-flow Radiators

A horizontally cored radiator is called a cross-flow radiator, and a vertically cored radiator is called a down-flow radiator. There is no difference in these radiators if all variables remain the same. Vehicle manufacturers select the type of radiator core they will use on a specific application based on their space restrictions (length and height) as well as their desired placement of inlet and outlet connections.

If a radiator is a down-flow type but is longer (length) than it is taller (height), then changing the design to a cross-flow type will most likely have a positive effect on the performance of the radiator. Although coolant will not move through the cooling system as quickly, the outlet temperatures can be decreased because heat dissipation is improved by lengthening the coolant path from side to side, which more effectively transfers excess heat from coolant to air before leaving the radiator.

Have More Cooling Questions?

Don’t worry, we covered other topics in the full article with our friends at SpeedHunters. Check out the link below for the full scoop!

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