Oil cooler - Information and FAQ
Information about oil coolers and frequently asked questions.
- Not enought cooling
- Engine does not reach working temperature
- Oil working temperature
- Oil cooler assembly
- Sandwich adapter
- Oil cooler placement
- Thermostat or not
Oil coolers, water coolers and intercoolers are all heat exchangers with the task of removing excess heat from the engine and transmission. Air passes through a the core that is made up of channels that have a flow of oil. The channels are interspersed with thin cooling fins through which air passes and a heat exchange takes place where the oil is cooled and the air is heated.
The core is made of aluminium, which has good heat-conducting properties. Gables are made of plastic or aluminium, where the aftermarket usually uses coolers made entirely of aluminium, as high demands are placed on durability and mounting options that are not possible with plastic gables.
An oil cooler is not always necessary, but on a turbo car or a tuned car that is used hard or driven on the track, it is almost always necessary as the oil gets too hot, loses its properties and breakdown is a fact.
The efficiency of an internal combustion engine and transmissions is far from 100% efficient, so much of the energy produced turns into heat, which becomes especially noticeable on a tuned engine where the driveline is subjected to heavy load. The oil's task is to lubricate moving parts through direct contact and thus it heats up more or less.
Different oils have a temperature range where they work best, as intended. It should not be too cold nor too hot as the properties deteriorate towards the intended operating temperature, especially at high temperatures as the oil's viscosity changes for the worse and gradually loses its properties.
To control oil temp, use oil cooler for engine and transmission, which is an important part that is often forgotten.
SizeSee what is original. Choose similar coolers for similar cooling effect. Choose larger coolers for better cooling effect.
As long as the oil cooling is controlled with a thermostat, you can have a slightly oversized cooler, then you know that the oil can always be kept down.
Not enought coolingMost of the time, a cooler is efficient enough. The problem with too high an oil temperature is often due to air not being led through the cooler. The air takes the easiest path. That path is often on the side of the radiator. Therefore, make sure to always direct the air through the radiator.
Engine does not reach working temperatureWhen an oil cooler is installed without a thermostat, the oil circulates through the cooler and the engine may then have difficulty getting up to working temperature.
Oil working temperatureIt is usually said that the engine's working temperature should be around 100 degrees for the system to function correctly.
Oil cooler assembly
An oil cooler can withstand high pressure but is still sensitive to breaks and vibrations. The oil cooler is manufactured to withstand high pressure. But there is, above all, a reason why they break and start to leak. It is when the oil cooler is mounted silently in the body and then has to endure both vibrations and the twists of the body, which destroys the oil cooler.
If you use a sandwich adapter to get an outlet for an oil cooler, an oil cooler should be connected to this circuit. Do not plug this as it may obstruct the oil flow depending on the design of the adapter.
Oil cooler placement
The location of the oil cooler depends on the area of use, but it is usually mounted where there is space. An important aspect during installation is also how to direct the air through the radiator. A good example is originally fitted radiators. Car manufacturers often have many restrictions that make the size and placement of radiators difficult. Therefore, the cooler's size and power are utilized to the maximum with the help of channels that force the air directly from outlets in the front through the core. The same principle applies to transmission, where you want to direct the air through the core to be able to get a more compact cooler with similar efficiency to a larger one without air control. One therefore wants to achieve a high air flow through a given core.
Thermostat or notIn short: You don't have to have a thermostat for the oil cooler, but a thermostat is very beneficial because the engine reaches working temperature faster.
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