Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Oil Cooler

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Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Oil Cooler

Common signs include oil or coolant leaking from the oil cooler, oil getting in the cooling system, and coolant getting in the oil. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Oil Cooler Repair. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2010 Mitsubishi Lancer $509 $439.16 $70.00 6% $546.66
2009 Dodge Durango $95 $25.18 $70.00 28% $132.68
2004 Chevrolet Venture $624 $540.00 $84.00 6% $669.00
2012 Cadillac CTS $369 $285.47 $84.00 10% $414.47
2003 BMW 325Ci $290 $191.79 $98.00 15% $342.29
2013 Jaguar XFR-S $424 $354.26 $70.00 8% $461.76
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How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Oil Cooler?

oil cooler

The oil cooler on any production vehicle is an essential engine component designed to keep modern cars, trucks, and SUVs running smoothly on the roads they travel daily. Whether you have a 2016 BMW or an older, yet reliable 1996 Nissan Sentra, the fact remains that the cooling system on any vehicle must be in working order during all types of weather and driving conditions. Although most drivers never have interaction with their oil coolers, keeping them in working order will extend their lifespan. However, like any other mechanical component, they can and often will wear out.

The purpose of the engine oil cooler is to allow the engine’s cooling system to remove excess heat from the oil. These types of coolers are usually of the water-to-oil type of heat exchanger. In most vehicles on the road, engine oil is fed to the oil coolers from an adapter that is located between the engine block and the engine oil filter. The oil then flows through the tubes of the cooler while the engine coolant flows around the tubes. The heat from the oil is transferred through the walls of the tubes to the surrounding coolant similar in many ways to the operation of an indoor air conditioning for residential homes. The heat absorbed by the engine’s cooling system is then transferred to the air as it passes through the vehicle’s radiator, which is located in front of the engine behind the grille of the vehicle.

If the vehicle is serviced as required, including routine oil and filter changes, the oil cooler should last as long as the vehicle's engine or other major mechanical components. However, there are some occasions where staying on top of maintenance will not prevent all damage potential for an oil cooler. When this component begins to wear out or has broken, it will display a few warning signs. Noted below are a few of these symptoms that can alert a driver that their oil cooler may need to be replaced.

1. Oil leaking from oil cooler

One of the components that are part of the oil cooling system is the oil cooler adapter. The adapter connects oil lines to the cooler itself and another adapter sends "cooled" oil back into the oil pan. Within the adapter is a gasket or rubber o-ring. If the oil cooler adapter fails externally, engine oil may be forced out of the engine. If the leak is small, you may notice a puddle of engine oil on the ground underneath your vehicle or quite possibly a stream of oil on the ground behind your vehicle.

If you notice any oil leaking under your engine, it's always recommended to contact a professional mechanic so they can determine where the leak is coming from and repair it quickly. As oil leaks, the engine loses ability to lubricate itself. This could result in increased engine temperature and premature parts wear due to increased friction from the lack of proper lubrication.

2. Engine coolant leaking from oil cooler

Similar to a loss of oil, an external oil cooler failure may force all of the engine coolant out of the engine. Whether the coolant leak is large or small, you will eventually overheat the engine if it isn’t repaired quickly. If the leak is small, you may notice coolant puddling on the ground underneath your vehicle. If the leak is a large one, you will probably notice steam pouring out from under the hood of your vehicle. As with the above symptom, it's important to contact a professional mechanic as soon as you notice a coolant leak. If enough coolant leaks from the radiator or oil cooler, it can result in engine overheating problems and mechanical component failure.

3. Oil in the cooling system

If the oil cooler adapter fails internally, you may notice engine oil in your cooling system. This happens because when the engine is running, oil pressure is greater than cooling system pressure. Oil is forced into the cooling system. This will eventually cause a lack of lubrication and can severely damage your engine.

4. Coolant in the oil

When the engine is not running and the cooling system is pressurized, coolant can be forced from the cooling system into the oil pan. High oil pan levels can damage the engine by the crankshaft slapping the oil as it rotates.

Any of these symptoms will require flushes of both the cooling system and the engine to remove all of the contaminated liquids. The oil cooler adapter, if it is the failed component, will require replacement. The oil cooler will also need to be flushed or replaced.

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YourMechanic Oil Cooler Repair Service

Average Rating

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Number of Reviews

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Rating Summary
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Joseph

30 years of experience
426 reviews
Joseph
30 years of experience
Joseph did a very good job in solving my mechanical problem. Would very much recommend him to anyone. Thanks
2005 INFINITI QX56 - OIL COOLER - PLANO, TEXAS

Carl

28 years of experience
25 reviews
Carl
28 years of experience
Carl was very friendly and professional. He got right down to business and figured out the problem quickly. He also provided honest advice on how to proceed forward, which we very much appreciated.
2011 LEXUS RX350 - OIL COOLER - DAYTON, MARYLAND

Michael

13 years of experience
312 reviews
Michael
13 years of experience
Michael handled several issues with my car today and did a great job. He was fast, friendly, and answered all of my questions. I will definitely schedule with him again and recommend him to others.
2010 MAZDA 5 - OIL COOLER - ROSWELL, GEORGIA

Kyle

8 years of experience
51 reviews
Kyle
8 years of experience
Came right on time and fixed the problem. Great service and Kyle was really knowledgeable and great to work with. I will definitely be calling on him again for any other service needs.
2009 MAZDA CX-7 - OIL COOLER - FULTON, MARYLAND

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