The U.S. auto/truck industry has been mandated by the Federal government to continuously improve their fleet average gas mileage, measured in miles per gallon. Several techniques are typically used to meet these mandates, one of which is to reduce the overall mass of cars and trucks. To help accomplish this goal, lighter weight sheet metal parts, with smaller weld flanges, have been designed and fabricated. This paper will examine the cooling characteristics of various water cooled weld electrodes and shanks used in resistance spot welding applications. The smaller weld flanges utilized in modern vehicle sheet metal fabrications have increased industry's interest in using one size of weld electrode (1/2 inch diameter) for certain spot welding operations. The welding community wants more data about the cooling characteristics of these 1/2 inch weld electrodes. To hep define the cooling characteristics, an infrared radiometer thermal vision system (TVS) was used to capture images (thermograms) of the heating and cooling cycles of several size combinations of weld electrodes under typical production conditions. Tests results will show why the open ended shanks are more suitable for cooling the weld electrode assembly then closed ended shanks.