What is the Oil Cooler all about?
Primarily used in air-cooled and motorcycle engines, an oil cooler serves two purposes, lubrication and cooling. The oil cooler is usually placed near the radiator to maximize cooling airflow. To maintain the lubricative properties of oil, the oil cooler by cooling the oil (having it flow through it galleries) to the proper temperature range.
Keep in mind:
- Though most people think engine oil is strictly for lubrication, it also plays a key role in cooling.
- Oil carries away much of your engine's heat so that it can be dissipated by the standard cooling system.
How it's done:
- The vehicle is raised and secured on jack stands
- The defective oil cooler is removed
- The new oil cooler is installed with new clamps
- The vehicle started and checked for oil leaks then lowered off the jack stands
- The vehicle is road tested for proper operation
Oil will accumulate debris over time, to the point where deposits may narrow an oil coolers thin galleries. To keep the engine oil as clean as possible, it is best to change the oil at 3,000 to 3,500 miles. The oil filter should also be changed to maximize debris removal. Regular oil changes should also ensure that an oil cooler will last the life of your car. Without regular oil changes, the cooler may fail at 50,000 miles and need to be replaced.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Oil Cooler?
- Engine power loss due to oil contamination
- Engine misfiring due to oil fouling
- Engine coolant temperature rise and potential damage due to oil contamination
- Discharges of black, oil exhaust as unburned oil is released as part of the ignition cycle
How important is this service?
Because engine oil is vital for most engine components, a faulty or clogged oil cooler can cause many problems including cooling system failure and engine damage (leaks, overheating and scarring as overheated oil loses it's lubricating properties). It is important to keep all parts of the lubrication and cooling systems functional to be able to use your car. If left untreated, it will lead directly to engine failure.