What is Engine Oil Cooler?
A car engine oil cooler is a device designed to help regulate the temperature of the oil in your car's engine. The oil in your car's engine plays a crucial role in keeping it running smoothly, as it lubricates moving parts, reduces friction, and helps to dissipate heat. However, when the engine gets too hot, the oil can break down and lose its effectiveness, potentially leading to engine damage.
To prevent this from happening, some car engines are equipped with an oil cooler. This is essentially a small radiator-like device that is typically located in the front of the car, behind the grille. The oil cooler is connected to the engine's oil system, and oil is circulated through it just like it is through the engine itself. As the oil passes through the cooler, it is cooled by air passing over it, much like the way a car's radiator cools the engine coolant.
By keeping the engine oil at a more stable and optimal temperature, the oil cooler helps to ensure that the oil is able to perform its lubricating duties effectively and helps to prevent damage to the engine. An engine oil cooler is especially beneficial in situations where the engine is being worked hard, such as when towing heavy loads or driving in hot weather conditions.
Be aware of Oil Cooler Failure Symptoms
An engine oil cooler failure can cause serious problems for your vehicle if not detected early. If you notice these signs, they may indicate an engine oil cooler failure:
Overheating engine: If the engine starts to overheat or if the temperature gauge shows that the engine is running hotter than usual, this could be a symptom of a faulty oil cooler. You need to check your oil cooler ASAP.
Oil leaks: A damaged or malfunctioning engine oil cooler may cause oil leaks. You can look for oil stains or puddles under your vehicle to confirm.
Low oil pressure: Notice a sudden drop in oil pressure? Could be a sign of a failed oil cooler.
Discolored oil: If the oil looks discolored or has a milky appearance, this could indicate that coolant has mixed with the oil due to a faulty oil cooler.
Smoky exhaust: If you notice blue or gray smoke coming from the exhaust, go check the engine oil cooler of your vehicle. This can be caused by oil burning in the engine.
Engine Oil Cooler Replacement
To replace an engine oil cooler, you need to:
- Prepare the vehicle by ensuring the engine is cool and the vehicle is parked on a level surface.
- Drain the oil and remove the oil filter.
- Disconnect the oil cooler lines using a flare nut wrench.
- Remove the oil cooler by unscrewing the mounting bolts.
- Clean the mounting surface with a gasket scraper or razor blade.
- Install the new oil cooler and secure it with the mounting bolts.
- Reconnect the oil cooler lines and torque the flare nuts.
- Install a new oil filter and fill the engine with fresh oil.
- Test the system for leaks and proper oil level.