The Different types of Car Radiators

Before walking into a radiator shop in the Philippines, it’s best to know what type of car radiator to get in the event that it does break down.

From the early years of the automotive industry up until today, various materials have been used to construct radiators. As the technology of car production progressed, so did the choice of substances increased. This was done in order to provide maximum cooling effect, ensuring the integrity of both the device and car. Here are the different kinds of car radiators.



Brass radiators were standard issue in all automobiles up until 1980. These devices had brass tanks inside and a copper core. A basic copper-brass radiator could reject at a rate of about 1,500 BTU (British Thermal Units) per hour, according to the community of car enthusiasts at Flex-a-lite.

Copper Brass

Though large and clunky, copper-brass radiators are not without their advantages. Modern advances in copper-brass technology accomplished through the International Copper Association (ICA) have made these kinds of radiators nearly 50% lighter than the traditional makes. There is also less air pressure in these radiators (about 30%) because the parts in copper-brass brands are much smaller. Smaller parts also mean less chance for the pipes inside the radiator from blowing out due to the pressure.

In the event that a copper-brass radiator has outlived its usefulness, modern types are 100% recyclable, making it friendly to the environment.

The two major problems with brass radiators were that they’re very expensive and, over time, would suffer from rust, making them very inefficient in the long run. This is why they were eventually replaced with…



To solve weight and cost problems encountered with its copper-brass counterpart, auto manufacturers turned to plastic radiators. Naturally, plastic weighs much lighter than metals such as copper or brass, and are much cheaper to produce. Today, this is one of the most common materials used for modern car radiators. They expel as much as 1,000 BTU per hour. Not bad for a plastic car part.


According to experts of Cap-A-Radiator, the lightness of the weight results to better fuel economy. Production of plastic car components was made by machines, and not humans, which is why they are more cost-efficient.



The problem with plastic components is that they have to be replaced entirely. Fixing them would take a much more tedious process, hence the preference to change instead of repair. This is where aluminum radiators come in handy.


Aluminum has a high thermal conductivity, meaning it conducts heat very well, absorbing it faster. This state allows hot coolant passing aluminum tubes to be cooled instantly, which is beneficial when it returns for another cycle to cool the car engine. Depending on the manufacturer, a radiator made entirely from the aluminum can conduct as much as 2,000 BTU per hour. That’s a 41% increase in efficiency when compared to its brass counterpart. (