Amy's Amazing Auto Service and Repair Blog

Red Flags of Oil Cooler Failure That Should Urge You to Seek Auto Servicing

by Derek Davidson

Your car engine relies heavily on oil to operate, and this is due to the fact the engine comprises a wide array of moving components. These components need to be constantly lubricated to ensure they do not create friction when they are in operation. However, when the oil lubricates these components, it also absorbs the heat they generate. Consequently, your engine needs an oil cooler to dissipate this heat and prevent the oil from breaking down. Although oil coolers are designed to function in harsh conditions, these auto parts are not invulnerable to wear. With time, you will need to see a mechanic for oil cooler replacement or you stand the risk of wreaking havoc on your engine. So how can you tell if the oil cooler has succumbed to failure? 

Suspicious leaks

Your engine's oil cooler is attached to the engine's oil lines via an adapter. If this adapter is to acquire damage for one reason or another, it results in a leak that allows oil to seep out of the oil cooler. Take note, though, that identifying this problem can be tricky depending on the extent of damage to the adapter. For instance, a tiny leak will be barely perceptible, so you may end up driving your vehicle with a compromised oil cooler. On the other hand, a large leak will create oil puddles under your car. To be on the safe side, it is best to see a mechanic for car service to ensure you are not contending with a defective oil cooler.

Compromised performance

Your engine's performance can be jeopardised by a wide range of underlying issues. Generally, this problem will crop up when there is inadequate fuel pressure. But it can also stem from problems such as your car being stuck in reduced power mode, sensor problems that interfere with the air-to-fuel ratio, ignition issues and so on. As such, not many motorists will think the engine's oil cooler is at fault. The reality, though, is when the oil cooler is damaged, your engine is at immediate threat of operating at exceedingly high temperatures. Consequently, the engine can no longer function at optimum, and this will manifest as signs of diminished engine performance, for example, poor fuel efficiency, problems accelerating, stalling of the engine and more. You must take your vehicle in for car servicing to have the defective oil cooler replaced and engine performance restored.