Did You Know That Your Car's Oil Cooler Is Vulnerable to Damage?

An internal combustion engine has many internal parts that need to move together to work correctly. These mechanical components are often in very close proximity to each other, and as they turn, oscillate or otherwise move, this can generate a lot of heat and friction. Clearly, your engine oil will need to perform well to avoid any issues and keep things moving like clockwork, but this lubricant will also need a helping hand. What happens if this particular system begins to break down?

Cooling System

Engineers have designed an independent cooling system to help keep the lubricant within safe operating temperatures. This relies on a heat exchanger mechanism (essentially a small radiator) that is placed outside the engine and typically at the front of the vehicle.

How Everything Works

As the engine turns, the oil circulates through the engine and then is piped outward to the heat exchanger. This radiator has a myriad of tiny aluminium fins across its matrix, and as the oil is forced through the fins, the heat can evaporate, bringing down the temperature. Once the process is complete, the oil is sent back to the other side of the engine to begin its work once more.

As you likely already know, your car also relies on a separate cooling system, where a liquid is forced through the engine block to bring down its internal temperature. This system also counts on a forward-facing radiator that usually sits just behind the oil cooler.

Risky Environment

When your car travels down the highway at high speeds, it will displace the surrounding air, which will help cool both radiators. Yet as these parts are exposed, they can also be damaged by stones and other debris.

Looking out

When it comes to the oil cooler specifically, external damage is the biggest risk. You will need to check the component periodically and look for signs of any such damage. As the aluminium fins are so thin, they can easily split, and when this happens, the oil may begin to leak. Some of the pipes that connect the system to the heat exchanger are also vulnerable to the same kind of damage.

Action Required

If you've noticed some performance issues recently, or if the "check engine light" has come on, take a closer look at the oil cooler and its ancillaries. If you can see signs of any significant damage, take the vehicle to a mechanic. They will affect any repairs to the oil cooling system as necessary, so your engine will have maximum protection once again.

Contact oil cooler repair services near you to learn more.