Is the Engine Cooler Fitted to Your Car Beginning to Fail?

20 April 2021
 Categories: , Blog

The engine in the modern-day car operates at a very high temperature. This can often be as high as 220°F, and engineers go to great lengths to design a system that can help cool the motor as much as possible. While it is essential to maintain the correct level of coolant, it is also important to modify the oil temperature that circulates within the block. To do this, your car may be fitted with an oil cooling system, but this can sometimes show signs of an issue. What do you need to look out for if you suspect a problem, and what should you do after that?

Cooling Systems Explained

As you may know, the main cooling system pumps a special form of coolant through cavities built into the engine's core. This helps absorb a lot of the built-up heat, which is then transported to the front-facing radiator to be cooled. The engine oil runs within the motor itself to provide much-needed lubrication and protect all those moving parts. Yet this is where you'll find the highest temperatures and, unsurprisingly, the oil will heat up dramatically. As it does so, it can lose some of its capacity to protect the moving parts, and this is why engineers fit a separate oil cooler in between the pump and the filter.

How the Oil Cooler Works

This oil cooler works in much the same way as a domestic air conditioning system. The coolant is fed into the inner core while the engine oil flows through adjacent tubes. Heat is then transferred from the oil to the coolant, which is, in turn, fed to the forward-facing radiator. Oil and coolant will flow independently through a never-ending loop, so the cooled oil moves back into the engine to restart the process.

The oil cooler itself should last for years without any attention, but the connecting parts can, from time to time, cause an issue.

Failing Parts

An adapter joins the oil lines to the main cooler, and this part features a rubber o-ring or special gasket. These parts can deteriorate, and when they do, the oil may start to leak. A separate part within the adapter may also fail, and this can force oil into the cooling system itself. You may not notice this initially, but you may notice that the vehicle is using a lot more oil than it should. Prompt action is necessary as damage could occur to the engine.

Prompt action

Remember, the oil and coolant are flowing through the system under great pressure, and if there are any weak parts in the system, a leak of some kind may occur. If you suspect that this is happening, take the car to a professional right away.