If you drive a large truck or a high-performance vehicle, then the cooling system should consist of more than a radiator. Chances are, your vehicle has an oil cooler. If it doesn't, then you may need to install one. Oil coolers keep your engine oil within an optimum temperature to ensure it can handle extreme conditions like when you tow or race.
Discover more information about what oil coolers are, what vehicles need them, if they need maintenance, and when they need repair.
An oil cooler is a radiator-like component specifically designed to keep your oil cool. It consists of tubes and fins that allow for good airflow to pass through. Usually, they are placed where they can receive maximum airflow such as in front of or behind the radiator or fans.
Oil coolers attach to an adapter near the oil filter to ensure adequate pressure through the system. Oil is air cooled as it circulates through the cooler before it returns to the engine.
While any vehicle can have an oil cooler, vehicles frequently involved in heavy-duty or high-performance situations usually require one. Coolers are most often in semi-trucks, heavy-duty pickup trucks that haul trailers, and sports vehicles. However, if you tow a great deal with your regular passenger car, then you would also benefit from an oil cooler.
Oil coolers extend the life of your vehicle's engine and reduce the chance of overheating under extreme conditions. For example, if you haul a trailer uphill for long distances, then chances are that your engine works at maximum capacity for a long time. This creates a lot of heat that needs a way to dissipate. If the heat cannot be released, then it builds up and raises the engine's temperature. An oil cooler provides an extra surface for that heat to dissipate.