Primarily used in air-cooled and motorcycle engines, an oil cooler serves two purposes, lubrication and cooling. The oil cooler is usually placed near the radiator to maximize cooling airflow. To maintain the lubricative properties of oil, the oil cooler by cooling the oil (having it flow through it galleries) to the proper temperature range.
Oil will accumulate debris over time, to the point where deposits may narrow an oil coolers thin galleries. To keep the engine oil as clean as possible, it is best to change the oil at 3,000 to 3,500 miles. The oil filter should also be changed to maximize debris removal. Regular oil changes should also ensure that an oil cooler will last the life of your car. Without regular oil changes, the cooler may fail at 50,000 miles and need to be replaced.
Because engine oil is vital for most engine components, a faulty or clogged oil cooler can cause many problems including cooling system failure and engine damage (leaks, overheating and scarring as overheated oil loses it's lubricating properties). It is important to keep all parts of the lubrication and cooling systems functional to be able to use your car. If left untreated, it will lead directly to engine failure.
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