If your vehicle is designed for towing a heavy load or is otherwise built for performance, it may well have an oil cooler fitted as standard. You may not be aware of this device, but it is critical if you are to keep the engine operating temperature within acceptable limits. When was the last time that you serviced your oil cooler? What type of risk are you running if it's been some time?
Vehicle Cooling Systems
You will be familiar with the primary radiator fitted to the front of your car or truck. Special coolant flows around the engine block to capture heat before it is forced through the radiator. Air is blown across the radiator fins either through forward motion or by a separate fan to remove the heat and send the water back to do it again.
The oil cooler works in a similar way. In fact, it is often mounted right next to the main radiator at the front of the car, but in this case, it's designed to cool down the oil instead. Here, engine oil is pumped away from the motor in a continuous cycle and forced through the narrow fins and tubes of the front-fitted cooler. Sometimes, these devices are water-cooled, but at other times, they will rely on the vehicle's motion to achieve their objective.
For the engine oil to work effectively, it needs to operate within strict guidelines and beneath a certain temperature. The more pressure you put on your engine by towing or racing, the higher the temperature will get, and it is crucial to cool off the oil if it is to protect as it should.
Sometimes, coolant can leak into the oil passages, contaminating the lubricant. When this happens, it will severely degrade its efficiency and could lead to engine problems. If the opposite happens and oil leaks into the coolant, then this could cause overheating elsewhere.
Periodically, have a look at the oil cooler to see that it is clear of any debris that may have blown up from the road surface. You also need to check the outside of the cooler for evidence of any leaks, corrosion, or damage.
When you take your vehicle to a mechanic for regular service, they will inspect every part of both the oil and water cooling systems. They'll make sure that the filters are cleaned out to get rid of any accumulated debris so that these products always work as intended and protect your investment.Share
13 January 2022
I love to take my car down to the track on the weekend. Running a race car is an expensive exercise so I need to be smart about how I spend my limited car budget. I do some of my auto servicing myself, but I don't have the equipment to some of the more complex jobs. I have put a lot of time and energy into my car so it's quite a commitment to trust someone else with my car, even for a few days, so I've found a trustworthy car service centre with a lot of experience in high performance vehicles. This blog has some tips on finding car servicing for racing cars.