Part of the engine's cooling system, the oil cooler is a heat exchanger which functions to remove heat from the combustion chamber in an internal combustion engine, by removing the heat from the engine oil.
The oil cooler is usually positioned at the front of the engine, in front of the radiator, where a constant supply of cold air flow is achieved. It's connected to the oil supply system at the oil filter, which means the oil has just been pumped through the pump, providing enough pressure for it to easily flow through the running lines and into the oil cooler. This also means the oil can be cooled before it reaches the engine again.
Heat from the hot engine, caused by the process of combustion, is transferred to the oil which then passes through the oil cooler. The oil cooler works like a radiator, but with oil running through it instead of water, removing the heat from the oil, enabling the car engine to function as efficiently as possible and to perform at its best. The oil cooler assists the radiator in keeping the car engine as cool as possible for optimum performance and engine longevity. Oil coolers are manufactured to be vehicle specific, and come in many different designs, shapes and sizes. Oil coolers will either be oil to air coolers or oil to water coolers. Ensuring you fit the correct and compatible oil cooler in your vehicle is vital. The oil cooler is designed to be compatible with the make and model of your vehicle, helping your car engine components to maintain correct operating temperatures for optimum output, bettering performance and engine life.
There are many problems that can arise with your car's cooling system. Oil cooler specific faults can occur, such as a leak or leaky fittings. If you notice that your engine is hotter than usual this could indicate a fault with the oil cooler, which, over a long period of use, will eventually deteriorate and need replacing. Due to prolonged use, old oil coolers can experience a variety of problems. Rust; a failed thermostat; blockages and build up causing a restriction to the oil flow; loose solders and wear and tear on the seams can all cause the oil cooler to malfunction and require a replacement. It's a good idea to consult with your mechanic to ensure the correct fault has been located before buying a replacement part. When replacing the oil cooler, buying a good quality oil cooler will ensure you get a part that's compatible with the make and model of your car.