Can You Increase Your Car’s Reliability with an External Oil Cooler Installation?

February 8, 2024

As automotive enthusiasts or everyday car users, you may be wondering how to boost your car’s reliability. Can the installation of an external oil cooler contribute to this much-needed boost? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’ This piece will delve into how an external oil cooler installation can enhance your car’s reliability.

Understanding the Role of Oil in Your Car’s Engine

Before we dive into the specifics of oil coolers, it’s crucial to comprehend the role of oil in your car’s engine. Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine, providing lubrication to reduce friction and prevent wear and tear on the engine’s moving parts.

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However, oil’s function extends beyond just lubrication. It also helps keep the engine clean by suspending dirt and contaminants, which can then be filtered out. Oil further aids in cooling the engine by transferring heat away from the combustion cycle.

Despite these functions, oil will start to fail as it heats up. The higher the oil’s temperature, the less effective it becomes as a lubricant, eventually leading to engine damage. This is where an oil cooler comes into the picture.

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The Function of an Oil Cooler

An oil cooler is an essential component designed to keep your car engine’s oil temperature in check. It’s a separate, smaller radiator located in a different location from your engine’s primary radiator. Its job is to cool the oil as it circulates through the cooler and then return it to the engine.

Most vehicles, especially high-performance cars, are equipped with an oil cooler from the factory. Nevertheless, for standard vehicles that don’t come with one, it’s entirely possible and highly beneficial to install an external oil cooler.

Perks of Installing an External Oil Cooler

Installing an external oil cooler can significantly increase your engine’s longevity, particularly in high-performance or heavy-duty applications. It ensures optimal oil temps, which will maintain the oil’s effectiveness as a lubricant, thereby reducing wear and tear on your engine’s components.

Additionally, an external oil cooler can prevent overheating, a common problem faced by many drivers. Overheating can lead to severe engine damage. However, by keeping the oil temperature down, an oil cooler can help avoid this issue.

Considerations for Installing an External Oil Cooler

Before you rush off to install an oil cooler with your car, there are a few things you need to consider. First, not all cars need an oil cooler. If you’re using your car for casual commuting, the factory cooling system is usually enough.

However, if you often push your car to its limits on the track, or regularly tow heavy loads, an oil cooler can be a fantastic addition. It’s also worth considering if you live in a hot climate, where your engine is already working harder to keep cool.

Second, the installation location matters. The oil cooler needs to be installed in a spot where it can receive plenty of air to cool the oil effectively.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that some oil coolers come with a built-in thermostat. This can be a valuable add-on, as it will only start cooling the oil once it reaches a particular temperature, ensuring the oil doesn’t get too cold during winter.

Join Automotive Forums for Personal Experiences and Advice

If you’re still unsure whether an oil cooler is necessary for your car, consider joining automotive forums. These online communities are filled with posts and messages from other car owners and enthusiasts who’ve had personal experiences with oil coolers.

You can find threads discussing the pros and cons, suggestions for the best brands, and advice on installation. Remember to quote any useful information you find and like posts that have been helpful.

In conclusion, while not all cars will benefit from an external oil cooler, they can significantly increase the reliability and longevity of high-performance or heavy-duty vehicles. However, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and circumstances, and where necessary, join a forum to gain more insights from other car owners’ experiences.

How to Successfully Install an External Oil Cooler

The process of installing an external oil cooler can be a bit challenging, especially if you are not a seasoned mechanic. However, it’s not impossible for a determined car enthusiast to tackle this project. The following tips will guide you through the process.

Firstly, you need to choose the right oil cooler for your vehicle. There are different types of oil coolers, ranging from tube and fin coolers to stacked plate coolers and many others. Browse through automotive forums and consult with experts to arrive at an informed decision. Take into consideration factors such as your car’s make and model, the type of oil used, and your typical driving conditions.

Secondly, before beginning the installation process, ensure you have all necessary tools at your disposal. These may include a wrench, pliers, hose clamps, and a mounting kit, among others.

When it comes to the installation location, the front bumper or behind the grille are common choices as they ensure the necessary air flow for the oil cooler. Remember, the oil cooler must be installed in a place where it can get enough air to dissipate heat effectively.

During the installation, pay keen attention to the oil lines. Ensure they are well routed and firmly secured to avoid leaks and potential damage.

Lastly, it is important to mention that an oil cooler with a built-in thermostat is a great option. This feature prevents the oil from cooling too much during winter, which could otherwise lead to inefficient lubrication.

Conclusion: Enhancing Your Car’s Reliability

The question of whether an external oil cooler can increase your car’s reliability is now answered. It’s a strong ‘Yes’, but with an asterisk. Not all cars, especially those used for everyday commuting, need one. However, for those who engage their cars in high-performance activities or live in hot climates, an oil cooler can be an essential addition.

An oil cooler maintains the oil temps in a range that keeps the oil effective as a lubricant. This significantly reduces wear and tear on your engine’s components, thereby increasing your car’s reliability. An oil cooler can also prevent your car engine from overheating – a common problem that leads to severe engine damage.

However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Considering your specific needs and circumstances is crucial before deciding to install an oil cooler. Research thoroughly, weigh the pros and cons, and join automotive forums to get first-hand advice from other car owners.

In conclusion, an external oil cooler is a valuable addition that can enhance the performance and reliability of your vehicle under the right conditions. Following the guidelines in this article will help ensure a successful installation and more efficient operation of your vehicle. Ensuring a cool oil temp will help you avoid oil pressure issues and increase your car’s reliability, whether it’s a track car or a daily driver.