What is the difference between an intercooler and a radiator?

- Jul 18, 2019-

The role of the intercooler is to reduce the intake air temperature of the engine, while the radiator is to lower the temperature of the entire engine.


Intercoolers are generally only visible in cars with a supercharger installed. Because the intercooler is actually a turbocharged accessory, its function is to reduce the temperature of the pressurized high temperature air, to reduce the thermal load of the engine, increase the intake air amount, and thus increase the power of the engine. For supercharged engines, the intercooler is an important component of the booster system. Whether it is a supercharged engine or a turbocharged engine, an intercooler needs to be installed between the supercharger and the intake manifold.


Car radiators are generally divided into water-cooled and air-cooled. The heat dissipation of an air-cooled engine relies on the circulation of air to remove heat to achieve heat dissipation. The outside of the cylinder of the air-cooled engine is designed to be a dense sheet-like structure, thereby increasing the heat dissipation area to meet the heat dissipation requirements of the engine. Air-cooled engines have the advantages of light weight and easy maintenance compared to the most used water-cooled engines.