What’s most confusing is that both the radiator and the condenser work as coolers. Beyond that and its crickets ringing in your mind without a clue in the world what more there is to these two car parts. Both the radiator and the condenser are located at the front most part of the car under the hood. This positioning is strategic because it is here where they have the best access to cool air supply.
The radiator is what helps cool the engine system of your car. The Condenser, on the other hand, is what turns/condenses hot air into cool droplets for the car’s air conditioner.
So how is a Porsche radiator different from a condenser?
How the Radiator Works
The radiator consists of metal fins which helps cool down searing hot coolant right passing through the tubes after it is passed through the engine. Coolant is usually water and actual coolant mixed together. This mixture helps raise the coolant’s boiling point up to over 250 degrees and further reduce its freezing point.
Coolant remains the same from the moment it leaves the radiator tank, passed through the engine all the way up to when it is channeled back to the radiator. If by the slightest chance your coolant manages to get past the boiling point and turn into gas, this would mean danger for your engine. Air inside the engine would mean the coolant’s ability to actually cool is limited. This means that there’s a higher chance of the engine overheating which could eventually lead to the engine blowing up in flames or permanently shutting down altogether.
How the Condenser Works
The condenser operations are very similar to those of a radiator. Only difference is that the condenser cools the car and the passengers inside it through the air conditioning system. The condenser uses refrigerant to absorb heat from the cabin and release it through the air conditioning vents of your car. Before collecting heat the refrigerant is in form of gas but it condenses and turns into liquid once it’s heated. Notice how you feel hot or warm air each time you pass your palm in front of the car’s AC vents? This is the condenser at work.
Note that with the Porsche radiator, the coolant remains in liquid same throughout. Alternatively, when it comes to the condenser the refrigerant is in form of gas at the beginning but turns into liquid once it absorbs heat. They may both serve cooling purposes but they work in two different systems to keep you and the car engine cool and comfortable. Now that it is clear that a radiator works to cool the engine and the condenser works as air conditioning you no longer have to stutter when asked to define its functions.